The Three Lakes Fire Department received a spring gift from the Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary Monday, a state-of-the-art drone to be utilized in search-and-rescue operations performed by the department. 

The drone, manufactured in Maine by FireDroneUSA, was tested out at the fire department Monday evening, with Fire Chief Dave Kirby at the controls under the tutelage of John Veilleux of FireDroneUSA. 

The Three Lakes Fire Department Auxiliary regularly donates funds for equipment to the department with monies raised at the annual Pumpkin Fest held the second weekend each October in Three Lakes.

The drone, valued at $9,500, will assist the department’s new search and rescue dog, Reba, throughout the

year on rescue missions. Kirby stated that the closest drone of this capability is currently located more than 30 minutes from Three Lakes.

“When time is of the essence, having this drone available within minutes could be the difference between life and death in certain situations,” said Kirby.

The drone has a maximum speed of 60 mph and can hold its GPS position in a 50 mph wind, while directing rescue teams to its location.

Kirby thanked the auxiliary for all they have provided to the department over the past 26 years of their existence.