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Police add drones to search and rescue toolkit

Bush areas are challenging when searching for people from an aircraft and time consuming when searching on foot. Kym’s drones can be programmed to look for specific colours
BAYSAR police drones
NBPS Cst. Steve Carleton and BAYSAR President Stan French display two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) commonly known as drones. Submitted.

City police will now have a more effective tool when they are called upon for search and rescue assignments.

They have partnered with BAYSAR, a local volunteer search and rescue team, to incorporate drones.

Cst Steve Carleton met BAYSAR members to review the use of the drones during a recent joint training exercise. NBPS Emergency Response Team and BAYSAR set up the search scenario near the Kate Pace Way in Callander.

“The North Bay Police Service and BAYSAR Air Search and Rescue have worked together under a written protocol since 2006," says North Bay Police Chief Devine. "The volunteers in BAYSAR have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism during joint training exercises and actual search and rescue operations. We are quite pleased that BAYSAR has been able to add drones to enhance our search and rescue capabilities.”

Kym Bedard, the owner and operator of the drones, joined BAYSAR just last month.

"He is fully licensed to operate his drones under Transport Canada rules and he has the knowledge and experience to fit right in as a great addition to the BAYSAR team of volunteers," explained member Stan French. "With drones, we can increase the probability of detecting people or objects when searching confined areas with partial obstructions. Bush areas are challenging when searching for people from an aircraft and time consuming when searching on foot. Kym’s drones can be programmed to look for specific colours if the missing person’s colour of clothing is known."

If the drone identifies the colour, searchers can quickly go to the location provided by the drone.

"This doesn’t replace the need for ground or air assets but it is a very welcome addition to our toolbox,” added French.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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