(TNS) — The next time the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s bomb squad responds to a call, it could have new gadgets at its disposal: drones.
The department received two new Aeryon SkyRanger drones in mid-December, and bomb squad members have been using them in simulations recently, a city official said last week. The drones are expected to be used the next time the specialized unit is called on to check out a potential threat.
San Diego’s fire department — specifically its bomb squad — is the only public safety agency in the city authorized to use drones, and can do so only on a limited basis, according to Tiffany Vinson, San Diego’s homeland security coordinator. Under similarly narrow rules, the Chula Vista Police Department also began using drones in late October.
The use of the devices by the two public safety agencies is part of the U.S.