Drones to help Swiss rescue dogs find missing people

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 25 Nov, 2016 Updated Fri 25 Nov 2016 09:59 CEST
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Swiss rescue dogs are to get a helping hand from the air as the Swiss Society for Rescue Dogs (Redog) announced on Thursday it would now be using drones during searches for missing people.

Some 3,000 people go missing in Switzerland every year, according to the society. Some have dementia, others lose their way home and some suffer health problems when out hiking.

Currently, teams of rescue workers and dogs operate entirely on the ground, often over a vast area.

But now Redog has teamed up with the Swiss Federation of Civil Drones (SVZD), which will operate drones equipped with thermal imaging and night vision cameras to provide aerial images of search areas.

Using drones in this way should make searches in difficult, steep or widespread terrain much easier and quicker, Redog said in a statement.

Redog’s president Romaine Kuonen stressed that both organizations are voluntary, and the new agreement had no commercial aims.

Ueli Sager, president of SVZD, said “Search and rescue is an area which, in the future, can greatly benefit from drones. In cooperation with us, Redog, with its experience and knowledge in dog-led searches, will be complemented by the technical skill and quality of our drone pilots.”

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