PVCC drone conference underway

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A three-day drone conference for public safety workers is underway at King Family Vineyards.

Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Third Annual Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems Conference began Monday, with drone operators and manufacturers taking part in drone exercises and seminars.

Governor Ralph Northam addressed attendees about the importance of drones in critical rescue missions, describing their current use in rescue and recovery efforts in tornado-ravaged Alabama, where at least 23 people were killed on Sunday.

PVCC’s Dean of Workforce Services Valerie Palamountain said drones are changing the way public safety workers perform their jobs.

“Instead of relying on volunteers to do a search and rescue, for example, we now have dronesd that can go a couple of hundred feet up into the air and take a look at what the lay of the land is, what may have happened, and be able to reconstruct an incident,” Palamountain said.

The conference lasts through Wednesday.

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