The department's drone has thermal imaging, which could help rescuers quickly locate a person in the water as it flies above the river.

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SPOKANE  — The Spokane Fire Department says it is planning to incorporate the use of drones in its water rescue efforts.

KREM-TV reports the fire department is seeking to expand the role of drones after it began using the technology a year ago in its firefighting work.

Fire Lt. Todd Powell says the drone has thermal imaging, which could help rescuers quickly locate a person in the water as it flies above the river.

Powell says the department can sometimes have up to three rescue calls a day at the river during the summer.

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The department is seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the drones at night and in downtown Spokane.