Garibaldi Fire Department held a public ceremony Saturday, May 1, taking delivery of their new heavy lifting drone, donated by Pacific UAV of Banks. Family and public supporters joined firefighters and the ceremony was also livestreamed, and can be viewed on the fire department’s Facebook page.
The fire department reported in early March, Pacific UAV Technologies demonstrated the drone capabilities for local fire agencies, law enforcement and the US Coast Guard in Garibaldi. Several scenarios were conducted with the Netarts-Oceanside Rural Fire District Water Rescue Team in the Tillamook Bay, such as delivering personal flotation devices and life rings to a swimmer in the water. For the ending scenario, drone pilot Tim Ruyle pulled a US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer to shore (200 feet) with a life ring tethered from the drone.
“This capability is extraordinary and is a game changer for not only us but the water rescue world,” said Garibaldi Fire Chief Jay Marugg.