Derrick Ward


Hot Shots Aerial Photography

Derrick Ward is the founder and CEO of Hot Shots Aerial Photography. Derrick also helped with the creation of the very first drone program for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), one of the largest fire departments in the world. Combining thirty years of work at the LAFD—including years of experience as a firefighter assigned to Fire station 80s at LAX International Airport— with over 2,000 hours logged as a commercial drone pilot, Derrick has a unique blend of emergency and professional UAV experience. The work he does with drones has been featured in the L.A. Times, Commercial UAV News, and UAV Coach, among others. For four years, Derrick worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department on their elite brush crew, located at Camp 8 in Malibu. This crew flew up and down the coast of California in a Bell UH-1 “Huey” helicopter fighting wild-land brushfires. His team was extensively trained in wildfire submission tactics, and the work they performed required specialized wild-land firefighting skills.



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