KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Phoenix Fire Department announces use of drones to fight fires

Earlier this month, the Phoenix Fire Department began using drones to help crews on the ground better do their jobs. The department has three drones and FAA certifications for eight drone pilots.

Phoenix Fire Cpt. Kenny Overton said the drones flying overhead give firefighters already on the scene a safe way to get more information.

“This is going to enable us to deliver better service to the citizens of Phoenix and also better protect our firefighters in active incidents," Overton said.

The program has been implemented since June 6, aiding with active structure fires. The drones send a live video feed to the command team’s monitors.

Overton, who is FAA certified himself, says the aerial view gives firefighters more opportunities to make informed decisions in intense situations, like spotting possible hazards or helping with search and rescue operations.

Overton noted that the use of drones is supplementary to firefighters' initial response. 

Athena Ankrah is an assistant producer for KJZZ's The Show.Ankrah graduated from Arizona State University in 2023 with a bachelor’s in journalism and a second degree in Chicano media and expressive culture.