The Reno Fire Department has a new tool in its belt to help fight fires more quickly. Crews are now using a drone to survey incidents, and get different angles on fires.

"It allows us to change our tactics in a quicker fashion," RFD Captain David Rutherford said, "so that we can deploy our resources better."

RFD gave a demonstration of the drone's uses in a simulation Thursday. While crews worked to force entry into a burning building, the drone did a survey from above, eventually spotting the location of the fire on the second floor, and a "victim" trapped inside. Firefighters were able to go directly to that part of the building to get the victim out. The whole scenario took just a few minutes, much faster than without the technological help.

"Otherwise, we go in there and we search for a while through the smoke, and then do every nook and cranny before we advance," Rutherford said. "So it makes it much quicker."

Rutherford said the drone is also useful in search and rescue operations, rescues in water, at night, or on ice, and for mapping terrain.

And the drone wasn't the only new element of the training scenario. The crew was made up of Reno Fire's 12 newest recruits, what Rutherford called a most welcome addition to the team.

"Our overtime this year was just crazy. Off the charts, as you can imagine," Rutherford said. "Our guys are getting older. They're getting beat up, so having 12 new bodies helps us out a lot."

This is the first group of graduates to train with the drone. They graduate in a ceremony Friday.