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Jul 14, 2015

In part one of NFPA Journal Podcast’s three-part suite on drones, robots and unmanned systems, Jesse speaks to Stephen McKeever, a professor of physics at Oklahoma State and the state’s secretary of science and technology, and Jamey Jacob, the head of the new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) graduate degree program at Oklahoma State University.

UAS, more commonly known as drones, have shown great promise for helping first responders and public safety officials do their jobs more safely and efficiently. Oklahoma is at the forefront of drone technology for first responders. In addition to Oklahoma State’s drone degree program, the state is home to a test site, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, which specifically tests small drones for use by first responders. During the podcast we discuss the current regulations for public agencies flying drones, what applications these unmanned systems have for public safety and first responders, and what the future may hold. Will every fire department in the country have a drone in its figurative toolbox? Many people, including Jacob, think so.