Garvin County To Use Drone For Emergencies - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Garvin County To Use Drone For Emergencies

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PAULS VALLEY, OK -- Sometimes in emergency situations, circumstances keep first responders cutoff from those they're trying to help.

But emergency management officials in Garvin county believe a new piece of equipment will provide air support for them.

Recent rains have made pastures lush and green in Garvin County.

But the county's emergency management director Bud Ramming says that'll change in the coming months.

"As the vegetation grows and then later dies out, it's what we call fire season around here," said Ramming. "It's a daily situation for us."

To help gain a different perspective once fire season hits, county commissioners recently approved the purchase of a small drone.

Making Garvin's emergency management office the first public agency in the state to use a system like this.

"I think it will help us in the fighting fires and a few other things," said Ramming.

The lightweight aircraft is equipped with a small camera, that can stream video back to the county's mobile command unit.

But some in Garvin County raised concerns when the purchase was approved.

"As long as it doesn't go too far," said Gary Tate, who lives in Pauls Valley. "Infringing on the privacy the people and stuff."

Others believe it's a great idea and would help find safe spots in remote county areas.

"And if you don't know where exactly that's at, than that would probably help a lot," said Jerrall Caldwell, a resident of Garvin County.

Ramming says the drone is not designed nor intended for spying and was requested to assist the county's fire departments

"We never can get high enough to actually see over the fire and see where we need to be," said Ramming. "This will put us up as high as we need to be to see what's going on below us."

Ramming says the aircraft has already completed several test flights and should be ready by mid-July.

Ramming says the purchase of the drone and auxiliary equipment was a little more than $2,500.