MARYSVILLE, Calif. Dec. 18, 2018 – The Marysville Police Department will be able to more efficiently organize and monitor emergency and rescue operations with the help of a grant from Yuba Water Agency.

The $5,000 grant, approved today by the agency as a part of the Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, will help the police department purchase two unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones, as well as applicable pilot training and Federal Aviation Administration licensing fees.

The drones will be used to monitor levees and survey the Yuba County area during flood events, evacuations and other emergencies, making it possible to quickly identify the most critical areas in need of emergency response.

“This kind of equipment could be a game changer for how Marysville plans for and executes emergency evacuations and emergency response,” said Mike Leahy, the Yuba Water Agency director and county supervisor whose territory includes the city of Marysville.

“With all of the past high water events, this equipment will greatly affect levee patrols by increasing our visibility of the water side of the levee system. This equipment will also be able to assist first responders on conditions of evacuation routes,” said Christian Sachs, Marysville Chief of Police.

The drones will also be used to gather data to create detailed maps indicating the inhabited areas most likely to be impacted from the consequences of floods.

This is another agency to benefit from Yuba Water Agency’s Bill Shaw Rescue Equipment and Training Grant Program, which was created in January, 2018. These grants are designed for first responder agencies in Yuba County and will cover the one-time costs of up to $5,000 per applicant annually, associated with the purchase of rescue equipment or specialized personnel training. The grant program was the idea of, and is named after, an employee who survived a potentially life-threatening injury, and who was extremely grateful for the emergency responders who helped save him.