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Mason County considers drone to aid first responders

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 18:54:32-04

MAYSVILLE, Ky. -- Mason County Emergency Management officials are considering buying a drone in order to help protect first responders.

Tim Nolder, the Mason County Emergency Management director, said a drone could be used in situations like a train derailment with hazardous materials or other events where first responders want to take a look at what they're dealing with before they go in. 

"Let's keep everybody as safe as possible," he said.

The drone model that Nolder has his eye on is a $2,000 DJI Phantom 4 Pro+. 

"You don't want to have to walk 2 miles to get to scene, figure out, 'Oh, I shouldn't have been there,' and then try to get out and get other first responders in," Nolder said,

Before the county makes a purchase, county Judge Executive Joe Pfeffer said they need to do their homework.

"We are in charge of spending the taxpayers' money, and so we want to do it judiciously," he said.

Pfeffer said he deinitely wants to help protect emergency responders, but there are concerns about how to insure a drone. 

The Kentucky Association of Counties will begin offering drone insurance in July.

Nolder said it's worth it.

"If we spend $2,000, versus a human life I don't think you could put a comparison on that," he said.