The Charles County Department of Emergency Services purchased an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the DJI Phantom Vision II, using funds from the Homeland Security Federal Grant Program. The UAV enables emergency responders to remotely and safely acquire a real-time visual operating picture of an incident, and to gather critical information to mitigate an incident, while simultaneously ensuring responder safety.

The UAV will be used for public safety-related missions, including but not limited to: pre-event planning; recording public safety trainings; inspecting radio towers; and emergency calls for service such as hazardous material incidents.

The unit is a remote-controlled quad copter with an integrated live feed camera system and a removable SD card that can capture and store aerial video and still photography. The UAV is small, lightweight, portable and able to be deployed in two minutes. It has a flight time of 25 minutes on a single rechargeable battery with a line of sight flight range of 650 feet from the operator.