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Drones coming to Northeast Ohio as Tri-C starts their new Drone academy for first responders

Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 04, 2016

It's a bird, it's a plane...no it's drones and they're now making their way here to Northeast Ohio and one local college it's putting them to the test.

At Tri-C the stakes are high with their new training program for first responders using drones. Educators say it's high time to train them for what the future holds.

“Our focus is on making sure our law enforcement, public safety individuals are uniquely qualified that as these departments go into utilizing drones to protect people, that the operator is extremely and well trained,” said Chief Clayton Harris, Public Safety Training Dean at Tri-C.

The new 40 hour course at Cuyahoga community college will give officers, firefighters, and other first responder trainees’ hands on experience with these drones.

The first in Northeast Ohio, they'll be trained to take drones into things like burning buildings and even inside vehicles like this one.

In the past, drones have come under fire for regulation concerns, but campus officials tell me they're not worried.

“I believe that many of those criticisms are valid, and that's the reason why we put this course together, so that we can train individuals to be great pilots…and to also do good with the drones," Harris said.

Classes start next Monday. And if all goes well after a few semesters, The Dean told me they're talking about expanding the drone program to include other students.