Starting with Generosity

In 2016, Fire Chief Jerry Purcell received an unexpected call from Wayne Bank offering a $40,000 grant to enact a new drone program for the benefit of Wayne County at large. Surprised by the offer, the Richmond Fire Department (RFD) graciously accepted and quickly proceeded with plans to move forward with this new initiative. After researching other existing drone programs in the region and learning best practices, the RFD went about purchasing five drones, three cameras, and iPad minis for the control and deployment of the drones. Additionally, the RFD made arrangements to train a few firefighters on the usage of drones and the applicable software.

Still Having an Impact

As of January 2022, the Richmond Fire Department has utilized this equipment and its photogrammetry capabilities in dozens of local fires. The data from the equipment not only allows firefighters and first responders a more in-depth look at dangerous situations, but also allows city authorities to effectively enforce city planning code which sometimes means the demolition of structures deemed unsafe to the public.

On January 25th, 2022, the RFD hosted a drone presentation for representatives of Wayne Bank showcasing the technology, explaining how it has aided their efforts, and their plans for maintaining and growing the program.

"Safety has improved, and that, my friends, is truly priceless." -Fire Chief Jerry Purcell

side by side pictures of firefighters displaying new drone
Learn more about this innovative program made possible by Wayne Bank:

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