Drones for sale!

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The 2013 West Virginia Public Safety Expo is underway.  Several vendors lined the Charleston Civic Center floor displaying goods that Emergency Medical Services, fire departments and law enforcement offices can put to use.

One vendor, however, is selling a controversial tool that also happens to be available for purchase by the public.  Drones.

The tiny flying objects look like something you might find in a toy store.

"Kids were using this," Verizon Wireless government sales manager David Ombres said. "But now we're getting a lot of requests from public safety agencies like fire departments, to view a fire from a distance or above."

Which may have come in handy for fire crews battling the recent Summersville forest fire that was only accessible by four-wheeler.

Ombres says the forestry division can also put the drones to use for help with search and rescue, perhaps in the search for missing Megan Lancaster of Wheelersburg.

 

The drones climb up to 160 feet in the air, they're controlled via WIFI from a smart phone app  and they're equipped with two video cameras.

"Public safety agencies really see the value in getting above the crowd," Ombres said.

The drones are also for sale to the public.  They cost $300.

 


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