Archbold, OH
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Drone Is Worth The Cost



A tanker truck carrying 3,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen was struck from behind by another semi on the Ohio Turnpike in June 2016, west of Wauseon. The tanker truck began to burn, and there was a real danger of explosion. The fire burned one semi rig so thoroughly, pieces were fused to the pavement.

An Archbold firefighter risked his life to walk into a 300-foot safety zone around what was essentially a huge bomb with a lit fuse to check the status of a valve.

Firefighters risk their lives every time they put on their turnout gear, but there are tools to limit that risk.

Later in the incident, a drone– a small, pilotless aircraft– flew out to take a careful look at the damaged tanker– without exposing a human to risk.

This newspaper editorialized in 2016 that every department should have a drone, so that dangers to first responders are minimized when possible.

The Archbold Police Department recently acquired an industrialstrength drone that can see in the dark, and detect people by their own body heat. It can literally fly into situations that risk the lives of first responders.

Two Archbold officers took it to Stryker on Dec. 28, 2018, when a manhunt was underway for three men who had been in a high-speed pursuit on the turnpike.

Is a drone expensive? Yes. But it’s better to lose an $18,000 drone than a first responder.

APD having its own drone means first responders don’t have to wait for one to be brought in from somewhere else. A missing person– a child who wandered off, an elderly person with dementia, an accident victim with injuries who left the scene– may be found quicker.

Yes, $18,000 is a lot of money. But what is that cost compared to a human life?



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