Utah Looking at Using Drones to Help Emergency First Responders

Drones could use two-way radios to relay messages to victims as well as deliver supplies.

SALT LAKE CITY — Much has been made about drones being used illegally and dangerously. But in Utah, the hope is drones can help save lives in the event of an emergency.

As FOX 13 reports, Utah might employ drones to assist first responders by locating victims. They even could use a two-way radio to communicate with the victim.

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“A chance to fly around and, combined with still photos, create a video tribute video for the emergency responders,” said Joe Dougherty, a spokesman from the Utah Department of Emergency Management.

Dave Jeltema of Utah Drone Imaging said drones have the precision to get extremely close to victims as first responders make their way to the scene.

“We can deliver a two-way radio, we can deliver even emergency supplies, water, first aid stuff with a drone,” he said.

The drone would weigh six pounds and can travel up to 45 miles per hour, and Dougherty said the cost would be far cheaper than other alternatives, such as a helicopter response.

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