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  • Drones

    Anyone successful or trying to get a drone? Something with a small payload to release an inflatable to flood victims, and IR capability?
    Which one are you using? We had over 200 water rescues in our district alone during Harvey, to use this for air survey work with the IR would be great. Also great for our BIG brush fires.
    Anyone already using one successfully?

  • #2
    Drones are NOT eligible on AFG.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    • #3
      Been doing them under other grants. SHSP and the others it's eligible since they're on the AEL now. Private programs few and far between because of cost, most won't go above $10-15k for public safety because they don't give to tax-supported entities.
      Brian P. Vickers
      CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
      FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
      www.helpmewithgrants.com
      www.facebook.com/vcsinc

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      • #4
        You can buy a very high-quality drone for <$1000.
        Have you asked any of the companies that make drones if they could donate a drone to your department or sell it to your department at a discounted price? It is good publicity and a tax write off write off. Looks like a Win/Win situation for everyone.

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        • #5
          Hobby level drones shouldn't even be a consideration, there's a reason the public safety ones are that much more. I can pick one up down the street for $100 at a few stores and control with my phone but range and clarity plus battery time are far from adequate. It's normally a good thought since that's how we tell people to get computers with companies replacing them every 2-3 years. Pick up a bunch for our kids' school, 2 year old laptops with nothing wrong with them. Newest one I have in the office is 3 years old, and I'm a computer guy. Drone for incident use, even the advanced hobby ones don't hold up, have a lot of friends that are hardcore into them and even they said theirs don't compare to the public safety rated ones.
          Brian P. Vickers
          CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
          FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
          www.helpmewithgrants.com
          www.facebook.com/vcsinc

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          • #6
            Sorry for not being more clear in my last post. I'm not talking about buying a "toy" drone from Toys 'R Us...
            I'm talking about buying a drone from DJI who is the leader in the drone world. https://www.dji.com/
            They make very high-end drones that are compact, have full flight autonomy that utilized GPS sensors, 4K stabilized cameras and controls that have a transmission range of up to 4.3 miles.
            They have a program for non-profits to get drones at a reduced cost direct from them
            https://coupon.dji.com/better-with-drones.

            I too am one of those people who is hardcore into drones...

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            • #7
              10% discount is nice, but as their site shows there's high-end hobby, then there's the public safety series. Inspire 1 is nice at $2k but there's no thermals on that one. basics showing more like $5k at a minimum since thermal and infrared are pretty much required as night is half a day so anything without nightvision isn't solving the issue either. Lower end ones aren't meant for inclement weather, and sometimes we have no choice. Something is better than nothing only sometimes, better to have something that will fulfill the needs and is more robust. Worst thing for marketing is here's our new item but only screw up during the light and dry weather with minimal wind or we can't use it. See the same thing with SAFER grants where people tell a tale of being 2 short on an initial attack but only apply for 1 position. If it doesn't do the job it doesn't get used. Had conversations with that company as well as the others since first thing any public safety agency says about drones is they have no money and we fix that.
              Brian P. Vickers
              CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
              FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
              www.helpmewithgrants.com
              www.facebook.com/vcsinc

              Comment


              • #8
                DJI is not an option. I have a DJI drone, as well as a newer Yuneec H520 with the ST16S. It is a great drone, but still not what I would want for FD use. There is a line called Little Ripper, that has a proven track record with FLIR and a rescue pod that can be dropped to people in the water. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/w...-swimmers.html

                While DJI may be the leader in the hobby drone world, and they do make a very nice product, they are not what I would want to use for Rescue
                Last edited by LVFD301; 01-26-2018, 05:11 PM.

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                • #9
                  Since a bunch of you have way more knowledge on drones, we're looking at one for preplanning purposes. I'm not as interested in something that can can carry or drop a payload, I just want something that can take decent enough aerial photos to utilize for the preplan process. A nice option would be something that is large enough to accept a thermal imager at some point, but that is not something I have to have, but would be a great addition later perhaps as their prices come down. Any opinions?
                  "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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