The role of the drone in public safety is proving to be an absolute necessity – and up until last week, at least 129 people whose lives have been saved by drones would agree.
Drone giant DJI has highlighted the ever-important role of drones in saving lives as four more people were saved recently on one day alone, in three separate incidents and bringing the number to 133.
On the cliffs on Exmouth on the south coast of the UK, the Drone Team of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset Police saved the life of an individual on Thursday, 31st May.
After searching for hours on foot, a drone was put up by the team and found the missing semiconscious man within 8 minutes with a thermal imaging camera.
The Drone Team posted the footage of the drone on Twitter:
Here’s the moment we found a high risk missing person on the cliffs at Exmouth within 8 minutes of being airborne. Saving his life and hours of searching on foot by multiple agencies.#DronesForGood #Drone #Police @DC_Police @dorsetpolice pic.twitter.com/VDdEONFeem
— Alliance Pol Drones (@PoliceDrones) June 6, 2018
On the same day in Indianapolis in the USA, a person fleeing police was saved after the ended up in a lake. After the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) deployed a UAV fitted out with a life vest, the IFD Dive Team sent out a boat to detain the suspect.
2577 Kentucky Avenue, one person in the water after fleeing police. Fire Department #UAV 82(Drone) deployed life vest. @IFD_NEWS Dive Rescue Team deployed a boat with @IMPDnews to make pull the individual from the water. pic.twitter.com/aN7hQutfiC
— Wayne Twp Fire Dept (@Waynetwpfire) May 31, 2018
Lastly, first responders in Hill County, Texas, also used a drone to deploy a life vest to a mother and daughter stranded in a rising river.
DJI says that three drone rescues in one days is a record to date, with the previous record being less than four months ago on February 25, 2018.
On that day, police in Lincolnshire, UK saved the life of an unconscious man when they used a thermal imaging drone to find the man, who was at risk from freezing to death after crashing his car and landing in a ditch.
The moment our #thermal #drone found a hypothermic man in a 6’ deep ditch 160m from his crashed car in the pitch dark tonight. Casualty conveyed to hospital. Thanks to @WoldsSgt for the request that may well have saved his life. pic.twitter.com/LwrPnBVj6H
— Lincs Police Drones (@lincsCOPter) February 25, 2018
On the same day rescuers on Paulo, Brazil, saved a struggling kitesurfer who had lost his board in the water by dropping a buoy to him with a drone.
Prior to that, two teenagers were saved from rough surf by a drone in the northern NSW town of Lennox Head on January 19, 2018. Surf Life Saving NSW had literally just unveiled the Westpac Little Ripper drone when the teenagers were spotted struggling in the water.
All these incidents showcase the usefulness of drones for public safety.
When first responders and departments are equipped with the right equipment, the opportunities to find and save people in adverse conditions are many.
Drones are able to assist police, fire and rescue services by reaching and covering more areas than would be otherwise possible in the short time needed to save people at risk.
Deployment of life safety devices such as life vests, and the use of advanced sensor technology such as thermal imaging cameras, also allow public safety agencies to reduce the risk of injury to rescuers who would otherwise need to put their lives at risk on search and rescue missions.
DJI, who have made it their mission to keep track of dozens of drone rescues to date, are urging any public safety agencies to contact them to add to their tally of drone rescues.
By doing so, they intend to continue spreading the word of the value of drone technology: #DronesForGood.