Burleigh deputies use drones to help firefighters on scene

BISMARCK, N.D. - As technology advances, first responders have more tools to help them serve the community.

The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department purchased drones more than a year ago. This year, the department is offering its services to other agencies.

The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department has been serving as eyes from the sky for several fire department agencies across our area. The most recent case was last week’s fire at Washington Courts.

A small machine with a powerful mission.

"Make sure there isn't any other hot spots," said Jared Lemieux with the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department.

But also for, "investigative purposes to see where the fire may have started," said Lemieux.

Deputies helped Bismarck Fire locate hot spots at last week’s apartment fire.

Bismarck Fire Department Fire Marshal Owen Fitzsimmons said, "We didn't have to put firefighters on the roof. There was quite a bit of damage there and there was a potential for collapse."

A team effort.

"We're going to get our jobs done. Protect people’s homes, people’s lives, we're going to have to work together. Using the drone helps us with that. It's a small part that we do at the benefit of the fire department," said Lemieux.

Long after the fire is out, the footage continues to help agencies.

"We're using it on the training side," said Bismarck Rural Fire Department Chief Michael Voigt. "It's just another opportunity to take that critique to the next level," he added.

The agencies talk about the importance of working together in order to protect and serve. As for the fire departments, they don't have plans right now to get their own drones or drone operators.