Drones have joined in searches for missing hikers lost in the wilderness and have had some success. But last week, they achieved perhaps their most dramatic save yet, locating a confused elderly woman who had wandered away from her home in North Carolina. A drone located the woman after just 25 minutes of searching, something that might have alternatively taken hundreds of ground-based volunteers.
In a NextGov column last year, I predicted that drones would step up to a new public safety role, with both officers and public volunteers piloting the craft. With more rescues like this one saving lives, that future looks to be close at hand.
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