Police drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to give them their more ‘technical’ name, might be relatively new to the emergency services, but already they are proving to be life-savers.
In the video below, you will see infrared footage of the moment a UAV deployed by Lincolnshire Polices’ specialist drone unit managed to find a male who ended up 160 metres away from his crashed car in a 6″ ditch in freezing conditions.
The incident happened in the middle of the night and ground units were initially sent to try and locate the male after reports of a road traffic accident.
However, despite the best efforts of units on the ground, they could not find the occupant of the car.
A quick-thinking patrol Sergeant requested the assistance of the drone unit in order to help search for the occupant of the vehicle.
Whilst these sort of incidents could also be sent to the National Police Air Service for assistance, often the Air Support Unit might be deployed on other taskings so will not always be available.
Had it not of been for the police UAV, then the chances of finding the male would have been very slim given the distance that he had managed to move away from his vehicle.
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police Drones confirmed that the casualty had been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Although drones have been subjected to some negative press recently, these assets are a game-changer for the emergency services; they really are saving lives.
Not only are drones currently utilised by the police in order to find vulnerable missing persons, to search for dangerous suspects or to provide evidence gathering at high-profile events, but they are also deployed by the fire service when trying to locate hot-spots at large fires.
Police & Fire service UAV receive intensive training before they are allowed to operate a drone and are subjected to strict Civil Aviation Authority laws.
They also have to undertake yearly ‘check-tests’ in order to make sure that they high standards are maintained.
UAVs are a huge help to emergency services personnel who are on the front line.
Not only are they used by the police and fire service, but they are also used by search and rescue teams up-and-down the country.
It will only be a matter of time before organisations such as the RNLI also use drones to assist in covering large search areas when trying to find missing people.
The public need not worry about fleets of drones crashing down to the ground as the emergency services are put through some stringent training before they are allowed to pilot these unmanned aerial vehicles.
The UAVs which are deployed by the emergency services are also subjected to some very stringent tests before they are deployed to the front line.
Whilst the deployment of police UAVs is becoming more frequent, especially in rural areas, this is the first time that I have heard of a police drone potentially saving the life of someone who has been involved in a road traffic collision.
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