May 9, 2013
Early this morning, Saskatoon RCMP received a call of a single vehicle rollover on Highway #5 about 5 km east of St. Denis, Saskatchewan.
RCMP, along with St. Denis and Vonda Fire Rescue, and EMS from MD Ambulance responded to the scene. Upon arriving at the scene, emergency responders could not locate the vehicle’s occupants. The examination of the scene indicated that at least one person had been in the vehicle and was injured. A ground search was conducted within 200 meters of the scene but searchers were unable to locate anyone.
Cpl. Doug Green, a Forensic Collision Reconstuctionist with the RCMP, was contacted and it was requested that he attend the scene with the Draganflyer X4-ES UAV equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera. Once Cpl. Green arrived on the scene, the Draganflyer was launched and a search was initiated in the area of the last known location of the driver. Three heat signatures showed up on the screen of the FLIR. Cpl. Green directed Vonda Fire Department members towards the first heat signature located in the trees 200 meters from his first known GPS location. Fire & Rescue members located the driver at this location, curled up in a ball at the base of a tree next to a snow bank. He was unresponsive and only wearing a t-shirt and pants, having lost his shoes. He was quickly brought out to the road by Fire/Rescue, placed in an ambulance, and was transported to hospital in Saskatoon. Without the Draganflyer X4-ES and FLIR camera, searchers would not have been able to locate the driver until daylight. This technology may have saved the driver’s life.
To our knowledge, this is the first time that a life may have been saved due to the help of a sUAS helicopter.
Read the full RCMP Press Release here.
Watch the video of the Draganflyer X4-ES with FLIR:
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