Even with the FAA restrictions, drones are becoming invaluable tools for our first responders. I recently wrote about the Wisconsin Police departments using a borrowed drone to catch a suspect. Cathy Free, a People Magazine journalist, wrote about a recent event in Texas. During a Texas flood, Bill and Tracey Kastel found themselves trapped during a flood. When they called emergency services for help, the response came in the form of a drone.
Trapped on all sides by water with their cat and five dogs, the Kastels dialed 911 and waited for help. They didn’t expect that help to come in the form of a drone nicknamed “Valkyrie,” operated by software engineer and Joshua Fire Department volunteer Garrett Bryl.
Using his drone, Bryl delivered life vests and a safety line to the Kastels, which Bill attached to a beam on his house. The other end was then hooked to the bumper of a fire truck and a rescue by raft was attempted.
It’s interesting to note, in both stories, the drones have come from not the police department but rather the fire department. What is holding back our police departments?