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A Unique Partnership: WCBS Shares Chopper Footage with FDNY

It is becoming more and more common for stations to pool their helicopter footage, but New York’s WCBS shares its aerial video with an unlikely partner: the FDNY.

According to the Daily News, WCBS’s chopper maintains a direct line to the FDNY, providing local firefighters a unique vantage point from which to spot potential hazards or trapped victims.

The partnership was struck following the 9/11 attacks, first with WPIX and then with WCBS (after WPIX ended its helicopter lease and began sharing WCBS’s chopper), as a way to ensure that emergency officials had all possible means of information at their disposal.

“There are concerns with the news media,” Joseph Pfeifer, the FDNY’s chief of counterterrorism and emergency preparedness, told the Daily News. “They have the right to turn it off and turn it on. But if they’re flying and taking pictures as part of the news coverage, we’d like that video.”

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