Albemarle County Approves Drone Donations for Search and Rescue

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Drone used by Albemarle County Search and Rescue (FILE) Drone used by Albemarle County Search and Rescue (FILE)
Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding

Some new technology will soon be helping search and rescue teams in Albemarle County.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved the donation of two drones Wednesday, March 1.

The county already has one drone, which was also donated.

The new drones will enhance the capabilities of ground search and rescue teams. The drones are outfitted with heat-sensing technology, which should help teams find people a lot faster.

“The whole purpose of search and rescue is to save lives. So the sooner you can get someone spotted, or you can locate where they are, it greatly increases the probability they are going to come out of the event alive," said Harding.

The drones are able to scan an area in real time, letting search teams know where to focus on first. However, dense areas will still require teams on the ground.

The sheriff says he imagines the use of drones growing in the next few years.

Sheriff Harding says the drones are not intended to infringe upon civil liberties.

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