WINDSOR – A volunteer firefighter with Windsor Severance Fire Rescue has found a way to incorporate a drone into his work.
Loveland resident Mike Vickerman uses a drone he purchased in late July to help the fire department investigate fire-damaged structures and capture events in northern Colorado.
Vickerman plans to one day use his unmanned aerial vehicle to help northern Colorado firefighters as they work to extinguish burning structures.
“My ultimate goal in the future is to film as much of a fire as I can and then, after, rebuild with animation what went wrong and what we can do better,” he said.
For now, Vickerman is using the drone to film events like the 93rd Annual Windsor Harvest Festival and the Weld RE-4 School District’s all staff CPR training.
The drone and Vickerman were also on scene Aug. 19 after firefighters extinguished a blaze at Theo’s Pizza & Gyros in Windsor, 520 Main St. He used the aerial device to investigate the roof of the eatery for structural damage.
“I have a monitor that I look at,” he said. “If I get too high or too far away, I can look at the monitor and see where I am. It’s basically a live feed from the camera.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has OK’d the use of drones for hobby and recreational uses, as well as some public uses by organizations like law enforcement, border patrol and fire and rescue departments. The federal agency is still dealing with safety and privacy concerns and working to implement rules for commercial operations.