Posts Tagged Andrew Dina

Naperville FD gets drone (more)

Excerpt from the

[The Naperville Fire Department is] among the first to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for on-the-job use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones. Information posted on the FAA’s website indicates the fire department is the first agency in Illinois to achieve certification and put a drone into use. The system was purchased last year for less than $2,000. The lengthy certification process included filing an application, registering the drone with the FAA, risk assessment, and FAA on-site approval.

Fire Division Chief Andy Dina said that sixteen fire department employees were trained by the Illinois State Police in drone operation. Firefighter Scott Howell is the department’s drone team coordinator. Five firefighters who also are licensed pilots will be the ones flying the drone during its missions while the other members of the team will act as observers, as mandated by FAA regulations.

Drones can be flown at an altitude of no more than 400 feet. If, during the drone’s flight, an observer sees a commercial airliner or a private plane in the area, the drone must be brought back to earth immediately. It can be re-launched once the larger aircraft is out of the immediate area.

“We follow the FAA rules to a T,” Dina said. That includes keeping the drone at least two miles away from local airports at all times, never flying it near or above crowds and respecting the privacy of Naperville’s citizens and business owners by not using it for surveillance purposes, he said.

The drone can be used in a variety of situations, including surveying storm damage, search and rescue operations and hazardous material emergencies, Dina said.

“We have had situations” in the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve, near the central part of the city, where hikers, bicyclists and sportsmen have been injured or become disoriented “and are not sure of their locations,” Dina said. A drone could prove useful in finding someone in distress more quickly, he said.

Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis added firefighters sometimes encounter “challenging scenarios where it may be unsafe or impractical to send people into those situations, (and) we can use our drone to visually identify and evaluate the circumstances of the incident. We can then better mitigate the situation or its recovery,” he said.

thanks Scott

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Naperville FD gets drone (more)

Excerpts from

Naperville’s drone is on track to provide backup for the city’s [emergency personnel].

One … was purchased for the fire department in April, but the agency isn’t yet able to put it into use. Andrew Dina, fire department bureau chief, reported last week that paperwork is in process to bring the city the required certificate of authority (COA) that will clear the way for trained operators to begin using the $1,200 device. Dina said the authorization should come through by mid-September.

“Following a successful period of training and an FAA visit to evaluate our systems and procedures, the Fire Department will move forward toward obtaining an operational COA which would allow us to operate the [drone] in and around the city of Naperville,” Dina said in a memo, adding that a trained Illinois state police coordinator has agreed to help the department get the program underway.

Also in process is development of a local policy governing use of [drones]. City attorneys now are reviewing the existing state police program, and a proposed policy for Naperville will be presented to the city council once they have finished looking over those documents, Dina said.

thanks Dan

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