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Rescue Drones

Rescue Drones
October 06
08:34 2015

“In the emergency world, the interest in drones is swelling right now.”  So says Joe Dougherty, director of the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

While drones have attracted some negative buzz for interfering with wildfire operations, they boast many positive traits when it comes to search and rescue.

Weather, even just clouds, can make it unsafe for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to fly but doesn’t interfere with unmanned drones.

Even on a clear day, a drone can get eyes on hard-to-reach areas that would take hours for a ground team to access.  And drones are considerably cheaper to operate than helicopters, which run $4,000 an hour.

In September, air fire suppression efforts had to be abandoned on the Deer Creek wildfire because of unauthorized drones in the area.

More than a dozen such incidents have been reported around the country.

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