COLUMBIA, Co (WJBF)- Columbia County Fire & Rescue is taking it a step further when responding to emergency needs in the community, by implementing a new fire rescue drone.

During Wednesday’s Emergency Planning Committee meeting, local officials watched as fire rescue demonstrated how the drone will be used when responding to Emergencies.

Assistant Fire Chief Brent Willis says the drone has advanced technology effects that will help first responders looking down from above.

“It has thermal imaging so we can you know kind of see into the darkness to find a missing person it looks body temperatures heat signatures so like on a wildfire we can see what area is burning” said Willis.

Willis says the drone is not just for fire rescue, it will also be used to help the sheriff’s office in searches for missing persons.

“It gives us extended capabilities to provide command and control to the Instant command center it helps on hazmat operations  to get eyes down, down range to help us develop our plan better and to make sure our employees are safe” said Willis

Several drones are already being used throughout columbia county.

Willis says the drone cost 35-thousand dollars.  But he says it’s money well spent.

“EMA working with our county management was able to obtain that funding for us to move this project forward County management and board of commissioners is very supportive giving public safety tools they need to make them better and keep our community safe” said Willis

Chief Willis also they will continue to provide advance technology like this to its first responders in order to keep the community safe.