Drones are proving to be an incredibly versatile technology. Of their many uses, no one can dispute their virtue when used to save lives. Drones have saved 59 lives in different parts of the world between 2013 and early 2017. This number will only increase as drones are more widely adopted for this purpose. Let’s look at two ways they can do this:
Search and Rescue
Each year, hundreds of hikers require rescue. In the Grand Canyon alone, over 200 hikers are rescued on a yearly basis. These rescues, requiring aircraft, searchers, and dogs, are both expensive and not always successful in reaching the victims in time.
The obvious benefit that drones bring to search and rescue is their use in reconnaissance. They’re highly mobile and can cover a lot of ground. In addition to cameras, some use infrared sensors to pick up body heat, which is especially useful at night. Once the drone locates the lost hiker, rescuers can quickly zero in.
One example of drone effectiveness in search and rescue occurred in 2014 when a drone located a lost man in just 20 minutes. He had been missing for three days despite the use of dogs, helicopters, and volunteers.
Delivering Medical Aid
In emergency response situations, speed can make the difference between life and death. Drones have a speed advantage over ambulances because they aren’t hindered by heavy traffic or roundabout surface routes. Their main benefit in emergency response is they can get to the scene quickly to deliver lifesaving tools that bystanders or the police can use to help victims. Paramedics in Canada use drones to deliver tools that can range in weight from a defibrillator to an EpiPen.
Drones are also used for delivering anti-venom and blood samples in the Amazon rainforest, where most locations are highly inaccessible by any other means.
In addition to the two above examples, drones are proving useful to firefighters, police officers, lifeguards, and mountain rescue people. For more information about the benefits of drone technology, please contact us.
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