Great Oaks teaches drone use for first responders


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Great Oaks Fire Academy Commander Johnny Mason speaks with local first responders.

Great Oaks Fire Academy Commander Johnny Mason speaks with local first responders.


An aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone.


A drone is able to get inside of a burning building.


An aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone.


Submitted photos

Drones can save lives. First responders can learn how through a new first-in-the-world certification program for adults at Great Oaks Career Campuses: Emergency Services Drone Operator. This program teaches the use of drones for fire fighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical rescue.

Drone technology can be used during a fire to keep fire fighters safe while viewing the scene, after a fire by investigators, as a set of eyes during vehicle or foot chases, as a tool for search-and-rescue, or in many other ways by first responders.

The first class of students began on Monday and included 11 firefighters and emergency services professionals from Sharonville, Norwood, the Village of Woodlawn, and the City of Cincinnati.

“Great Oaks is pioneering the use of this technology to save lives,” said Great Oaks Fire Academy Commander Johnny Mason. “An emergency services drone operator needs to know not just how to fly the drone, but how to view and interpret an emergency scene from above.”

The class offered at Great Oaks is the first course approved by ProBoard to certify students in NFPA 2400, the standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) for Public Safety Operations.

Mason said that during the five-day class, students will plan missions, fly missions, and learn to maintain drones. They will also hold such training exercises as approaching a suspicious vehicle, conducting search-and-rescue activities, and dealing with hazmat situations.

Brian Brauer of the ProBoard came from Illinois to observe the first day of class.

During a training demonstration for local officials, Johnny Mason said the timing of launching this class was fortunate. “Great Oaks is celebrating 50 years this year, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to introduce training in life-saving technology.”

For more information, contact Great Oaks Public Safety Services at 513-771-1142.

Great Oaks Fire Academy Commander Johnny Mason speaks with local first responders.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/10/web1_Johnnymason.jpgGreat Oaks Fire Academy Commander Johnny Mason speaks with local first responders.

An aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/10/web1_drone-2.jpgAn aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone.

A drone is able to get inside of a burning building.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/10/web1_drone-3.jpgA drone is able to get inside of a burning building.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/10/web1_Dronecourse.jpg

An aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/10/web1_drone-4.jpgAn aerial view of a mock emergency scene from a drone. Submitted photos

Submitted article