Mounties in Saskatchewan are crediting a high-tech drone for the rescue of a man who had walked away from his vehicle after a rollover crash and could not be found.
Sgt. Doug Green, who deployed the drone in the search, told CBC News the machine was built and designed by a Saskatoon company, Draganfly Innovations.
"It's a small little four-armed helicopter that has the capability of a camera or a FLIR [Forward Looking Infrared] or a low-light camera attachment that has a video link right back to the hand-held controller that I fly it with," Green explained. "I see exactly what the camera is looking at and I can control the camera up and down."
RCMP are trying out Saskatoon-made drones. A Dragan Flyer X4-ES was used to find an injured man who wandered away from a roll over crash. (Draganfly.com)
Green said the drone used a FLIR camera which detects heat from an object during Thursday morning's rescue.
He said that in most highway crashes, victims are found near to their vehicles or within about 200 metres.
In Thursday's case, Green said the man suffered a head injury and was disoriented.
"He just, instead of phoning right away, he wandered off and got lost in the dark," Green said, adding it was cold, the field had water in it and the wind was picking up. "He was wet and cold."
Green said the RCMP have been using the Dragan Flyer X4-ES for just over a year in a series of trials to determine how they might assist different elements of police work. Green was equipped with one for use in traffic analysis.
"We're still just trying out different platforms," he said, adding that five officers have obtained the necessary training and licences from aviation authorities to fly the devices.
More Info on the RCMP operations:
I think we should start keeping statistics on these things. Lives Saved vs. Lives Lost due to UAV's. Probably need two categories for lives saved. Confirmed Saves and Probable Saves. Probable means the UAV was responsible for the save. And Confirmed means the UAV saved somebody when conventional methods failed or likely would have failed.
For example, this would be a Confirmed.
A probable would mean for example, and UAV found somebody while a ground team was still in the area and may have found them if the UAV hadn't.
Go Team Canada!
Always great to see positive uses out there.
I am sure these "tools" will be more and more commonly used by different teams. Because this is what they are, tools to help them (police, firefighter, rescue, ...) to do their job. Having an eye in the sky is always very useful.
People needs to read a lot more stories like this one.
Maybe someone should send a copy to the FAA to show how UAV's can be good for the community.
More good points for a forward thinking Canada,
I think what REALLY makes this interesting, is that they initially brought in a manned chopper with FLIR, and it couldn't find the guy. I wonder if it was an issue with the chopper flying too high and too fast, they just passed over the faint signal. But the close range of the UAV is what did it?
Great! endless application of drones, in particular saving lives.
This is just one of the many great applications for UAS! Thanks for sharing this with us! :D It's just a matter of time before more law enforcement pick up on it and reap the safety and cost benefits over using manned helicopters.