MEMA expands drone usage in Aerial System program

MEMA expands drone usage in Aerial System program

PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - The state of Mississippi has added some high tech flying devices to their arsenal of tools.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency now has 9 drones as part of their unmanned Aerial System program.

The drones are placed strategically around the state and can respond at a moments notice.

MEMA DRONE (Source: David Kenney)

Most recently a drone was used to locate a missing man in Jefferson Davis county last week.

Several of the drones have thermal imaging which allows pilots to quickly locate heat signatures on the ground whether it’s day or night.

David Battaly the MEMA U.A.S. Program Coordinator said, “The thermal imagery camera is a mission multiplier with our task at night, perhaps, or, in this case, looking for people.”

The state has been using the drones since 2017.

They’re also aiding in responding to natural disasters and hazmat situations, where they can help first responders in the ground by giving visual coverage from the air.

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