MINOCQUA - Earlier this month, the Minocqua Fire Department celebrated the opening of its new fire station.
"A drone is going to allow us to make that next step forward," said firefighter Jeffrey Vollmer.
On Friday, Tom and Michelle Bird donated a drone to the fire department.
"[It's] technology being able to take the place of maybe putting a firefighter in danger," said Tom.
Tom and Assistant Fire Chief Brian Hazelett talked about the donation after Tom said he was upgrading his drone. Hazelett says the drone could help firefighters evaluate scenes and help with search and rescues.
"Can we get to that person [in] that area that they're in using our UTV or do we have to have some other types of, you know, mobility to get to that person?" said Hazelett.
Hazelett and firefighters Jeffrey Vollmer and David Edwards will make up the three man drone team.
"There's going to be a pilot. There's going to be the spotter and then there's going to be the liaison, the communications person. I hope to be fully trained in all three of those capacities," said Vollmer.
"It feels very reassuring that my actions here have spoken and they're asking me to take some step further to become a bigger part of the department and it's just an honor," said Edwards.
It's a high honor reflected in a donation these firefighters hope will help them help others.
"We all need to support our firefighters [and] our police. They're out there doing it for us so I think we need to give back sometimes," said Bird.
Tom says the drone originally cost him about $1,800.
The fire department drone team will start their training soon and hope to use it as soon as possible.