Drones are often maligned, whether as nuisances or dangers. Nonetheless, they are a very useful tool for rescuers, so much so that a new study shows they are saving a life every week.
The new study from DJI, "Lives Saved: A Survey of Drones in Action," shows that drones have been directly responsible (situations where the drone was the sole instrument) for saving at least 59 lives, a number that grows at the rate of one life per week. What's particularly interesting is that these drones are often not operated by professionals; 20 of the 59 total lives saved in 18 separate incidents were credited to civilians using their drones to assist rescuers. Other statistics show that 31 lives were saved during floods, 19 were people found on land (lost on mountains, in snowbanks, or other environments), and 9 were people trapped in non-flooded water areas.
The clear conclusion is that drones are regularly saving lives around the world... DJI is at the forefront in efforts to develop best practices and optimal standards for firefighters, rescue services, and other first responders to integrate drones into their command protocols. As these efforts continue, we expect the number of lives saved by drones to continue to grow... Drones have proven their worth in rescues all over the world, and this report is the first formal attempt to show how both professional emergency services and helpful hobbyists have used them to save lives.
Indeed, it's promising news, as drones allow rescuers to conduct aerial searches that used to require a helicopter in much less time and at a fraction of the cost.
[via Drone Life]