Canadian Emergency Managers Testing Contracted Drone Services for SAR Ops

Drone for Search and Rescue

Drones are making there way onto some British Columbia search and rescue (SAR) teams as Emergency Management BC announced plans for a pilot project that will allow some rescue teams to test unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) for SAR purposes.

Mike Coyle, a manager with Coquitlam Search and Rescue, said drones have been used on an ad hoc basis in search and rescue efforts in the province., but widespread use has been limited due to the privacy concerns. British Columbia's privacy commissioner has formally reviewed the drone pilot project and given it a green light. "Our intent is to just use them to look for missing people in the wilderness and not fly over built up areas, and that's why I think the privacy commissioner said it's a good use," said Coyle.

The use of drones will be contracted through a private company, much like the SAR teams contracts with helicopters and other aircraft operators.

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