First Report of Using Portable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) for Search and Rescue.

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Wilderness & environmental medicine


Accidental Falls; Adult; Aircraft; Female; Humans; Male; Oregon; Rescue Work; Wilderness


Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), colloquially called drones, are used commonly for military, government, and civilian purposes, including both commercial and consumer applications. During a search and rescue mission in Oregon, a UAS was used to confirm a fatality in a slot canyon; this eliminated the need for a dangerous rappel at night by rescue personnel. A second search mission in Oregon used several UAS to clear terrain. This allowed search of areas that were not accessible or were difficult to clear by ground personnel. UAS with cameras may be useful for searching, observing, and documenting missions. It is possible that UAS might be useful for delivering equipment in difficult areas and in communication.


Emergency Medicine