FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department $71,933 for arson surveillance equipment. The fire department applied for the grant six months ago. Battalion Chief George Robbins says the technology the department owns now is about 20-years-old.
Robbins says about 60 to 70 of the 18,000 calls Fairfax Fire and Rescue responds to each year are arson-related.
Arson is the act of deliberately setting fire to property; in cases of malicious play, a domestic dispute, or insurance fraud, for example.
The new equipment will have remote sensing capabilities and can take live video 24/7; minimizing the required amount of personnel on-scene and the total operational cost.
“It will also allow us to be able to gather evidence that can be utilized in court to prosecute those who are responsible for setting [fires],” said Robbins.
This equipment is also used by the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Fairfax County Police Department.