DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, is on a mission. As reports of “rogue drones,” “incidents,” and “sightings” become more frequent, DJI is following a different kind of incident: how many times drones save lives.
Last week “marked a new milestone in public safety drone use,” says a DJI release. Four people were rescued by drones in three separate incidents on two continents on a single day. “This brings the total number of people rescued from peril by drones around the world to at least 133,” says DJI. That “at least” is critical – there are countless incidents now where drone use in law enforcement, firefighting and rescue operations have assisted in saving lives.
On Thursday, May 31, police and fire departments recorded these three rescues – click the links to see the video!
- Police in the UK used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to find a missing semiconscious man at the edge of a steep Exmouth cliff face. Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police posted video of the rescue here: https://twitter.com/
- An Indiana fire department dropped a life vest to a criminal suspect who had fled into a pond and was struggling to stay afloat. The Wayne Township Fire Department posted video of the rescue here: https://twitter.com/
- Public safety agencies in Hill County, Texas, dropped a life vest to a mother and her 15-year-old daughter who were stranded in a rising river and didn’t know how to swim. News coverage of the rescue is available here: http://www.kwtx.com/content/
news/Area-dam-shut-down-to- rescue-four-stranded-in-river- 484245321.html
“Police, fire and rescue services, as well as bystanders in the right place at the right time, have used drones to find missing people and deliver supplies to people stranded in water, forests, ditches, mountains and fields,” says DJI. “Drones can cover far more area than searchers on land or water, and can use thermal imaging cameras to peer through smoke, fog, darkness or vegetation to find unconscious people. Drones also allow public safety agencies to reduce the risk of injury to rescuers, who might otherwise place themselves in peril on search and rescue missions.”
Drone operators who can add to the tally should contact DJI – because counting the lives saved by drones is one way to help raise public awareness about the good work drones can accomplish.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.