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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 6 days ago

Palm Coast's government may buy three drones for fire rescue, other operations

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'We think it’s very cost effective, considering what is costs to fly an airplane or a helicopter,' interim City Manager Beau Falgout said. 
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The city of Palm Coast government is considering buying three  drones to use for fire rescue operations, planning and land development work and marketing photography and video.

“You can do things like infrastructure inspection, aerial photography updates,” city GIS Specialist Austin Kladke, who led a city staff team that developed a plan to implement drone use, told the Palm Coast City Council at its Oct. 9 council workshop. 

Kladke said the city would use drones to enhance public safety and inspect city infrastructure, but would not capture images of private property, and would make sure that all city drone pilots are licensed, insured and well trained.

The city’s fire rescue department could potentially use drones to see a fire scene from all sides or view a hazardous materials incident scene before deploying firefighters.

Mayor Milissa Holland said she could imagine drone photography and video being useful for the city’s communications and marketing staff.

Interim City Manager Beau Falgout said that the city contracted with an aerial drone photography company to conduct photography and video of the city’s official opening of the new Palm Coast Community Center in March.

“We think it’s very cost effective, considering what is costs to fly an airplane or a helicopter,” Falgout said.

Holland was in favor of the proposed program.

“I think it’s cool,” she said. “I think we’ll see a real value there.”

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