Search and Rescue… And Drones

White City, Ore. —  The Jackson County Search and Rescue team is taking rescue techniques to the 21st century, with a drone.

Jackson county Search and Rescue was looking for a way to improve search efforts and make things easier for rescuers. That’s exactly what they got when a drone was brought to the table.

During any search and rescue mission, experts say you often wish you had an extra set of hands, sometimes even an extra set of eyes – and now Jackson County does, thanks to a drone.

“Often times, you have open country where you can get a great visual with a camera on the drone of your search area,” said Sgt. Shawn Richards, Jackson County Search and Rescue.

Drones can do much more than provide aerial views as search and rescue’s learned over the years. It can drop off items to victims like radios or water bottles, it can also go where some rescuers can’t.

“We’ve had it to where we’re using cameras in a river – underwater cameras,” he said.

The drone, alone, isn’t just the technology working to help search crews. Members, themselves are working towards inventing attachments and utilizing certain features of the drone.

“He has a whistle that he puts on the drone that it’s a really loud screeching type noise, like a fire alarm. To where if somebody was down in the canopy or wherever, and hopefully they would hear that to come out and look up,” he said.

And search and rescue hopes to continue to add other capabilities as well.

“It’s endless what we’re going to be able to do to utilize them into the search and rescue field,” he said.

I asked search and rescue if they plan on adding any more drones to their team. They said they’re still working on it, but they do plan on adding more in the future.

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