Excerpts from romeoville.org:

Earlier in the year, the Romeoville Fire Department was one of 40 police and fire departments in the country to receive a Public Safety Drone Training Grant from DARTdrones, the nation’s leading drone pilot school. This grant, which consisted of $3,500 in free training, is being put to good use. Anyone who operates a drone for professional purposes is required to undergo training and be licensed by the FAA. Fire Chief Kent Adams is a fully licensed drone pilot. This is not the first drone based grant the department has benefitted from. They purchased the drone using money from a previous grant.

“We use drones for a variety of operations,” explains Adams. “The list gets longer and longer every day. Pretty much any type of incident we have, we can use the drone to give us some aerial perspective of what’s going on.” A few of these incidents include using thermal imaging to find hot spots and advancing fire, fire investigation, search and rescue, and finding victims along the waterways. “In the past we’d need to have Chicago’s helicopter come out and fly the waterway for us because we didn’t have any aerial way of looking. Now we have the ability to do that with our drones.”

Adams says more fire and police departments are moving towards using drones, but it’s still sporadic right now.