Every day, drones are used to make people’s lives easier. They have a number of applications across dozens of industries, and are used to make tasks more time efficient, financially efficient, and in some cases, to save lives. Drone’s have the capability to change how we work for the better. To put it simply - drones are tools, not toys.
Back in September, rescue units responded to a 911 call from an injured hiker in the Devils Punchbowl State Park on the northern coast of Oregon. The hiker had lost his footing and fell several feet off of a trail while hiking, injuring his leg in the process. He called for help as he clung to a rock face early in the morning of the 29th.
It was still dark when rescue units arrived at the state park. The man had left for his hike before that sun had risen, which amplified his need for help. He was also stranded in an area that was not easily accessible for the rescue teams, so the authorities needed to bring in some outside assistance.
A Depoe Bay engineer/paramedic named Kevin Dykes arrived on the scene and immediately deployed a drone equipped with FLIR thermal imaging technology. The morning sky at Punchbowl State Park was pitch black, but Dykes could see the situation perfectly. He quickly located the stranded hiker and began mapping out a safe route for him to safely reconvene with first responders.
The hiker, using directions from Dykes and his drone, was able to safely maneuver the rock face and meet up with a ground team several hundred yards away. He did have to walk through the ocean briefly, which was made possible by low tide. However, thanks to the Dykes and his FLIR thermal imaging equipped drone, the hiker was rescued from harm's way.