RENO, NV - The rescues of the future are upon us. Local law enforcement on Wednesday announced a partnership with a drone developer that will create an aircraft capable of saving lives. It's not yet legal for them to use the drone, but participating in the development stage now means they'll be ready when it becomes legal.
The next time you get lost it could be a search and rescue drone that comes to find you. One planed for that use is currently being developed by Reno based Drone America.
"Our focus is humanitarian relief, disaster response, search and rescue. That is what we do and we hope to do it better than most," said, Mike Richards, CEO of Drone America.
The hope is once the FAA allows it, cops and firefighters will be able to use this drone to save lives. Whether it be people lost on mountain, stranded in the river, or trapped in a fire area, they believe this drone can help.
"It's a matter of saving lives. It really comes down to just that. How do we use this to benefit searches for patients with dementia that wonder off, how do we use this to find missing children," said Deputy Chief Mac Venzon
The unique thing about this particular drone is the manufacturer has worked hand in hand with local law enforcement to make sure this has all the features required.
"We are working on this project as a team. We are bring to bear our own resources to do that," said Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley.
Outgoing Sheriff Mike Haley says throughout the process law enforcement has thought up ideas and Drone America has made them a reality. The drone will be able to deliver a life raft to a drowning victim, it will have cameras to survey and area, and sensors to test for danger.
"We can design what we believe or perceive to be the best solution to their applications, but the only way that you really know that for sure is to go out there and do it with them and that is what this collaborative does," said Richards.
As cool as it is, it's not ready for use yet. The FAA is still working to determine how drones should be used. Once that happens local law enforcement will be ready to be airborne.
Plenty of people have already voiced concern that police having drones is an invasion of privacy. Officials on Wednesday said that is not their intention, they just want to save lives.