Arizona Rescue Crews Use Drone to Locate Injured Hiker Who Went Off-Trail

by Emily Morgan

Arizona rescue crews recently deployed a drone to locate a distressed hiker near a trail. On Saturday morning, emergency officials successfully rescued the woman, 63, from Ringtail Trail in northeastern Scottsdale.

According to officials, the woman dialed 911 and told dispatchers she was suffering from heat exhaustion symptoms and needed emergency assistance. Later, Scottsdale Fire Department deployed a drone that could locate her and help crews find her exact location.

“We couldn’t pick up a phone ping on what trail she was on so we actually picked her up fairly quickly because of the drone we launched and she was wearing a bright-colored shirt which made it a lot easier,” said Scottsdale Fire Captian Dave Folio.

The department currently has six drones, all of which can soar 400 feet and five miles away from the pilot. Due to the drone’s live stream abilities and capability to tell users exact coordinates, the drones could save someone’s life if they were in danger.

How drones could change rescue missions for the better

In addition, someone can attach items such as water bottles, life vests, helmets, speakers, and flashlights can also be attached to the drone.

Soon after crews rescued the woman with the drone, teams in the same area got another call to help another woman make her way down a mountain.

The Scottsdale Fire Department says one’s age, medications, and physical limitations can all cause heat-related problems. “Know your limitations. If you’re going to go out there, hydrate the night before, not the morning of,” says Capt. Folio.

Heat exhaustion and stroke: completely preventable

Although summer is winding down, it’s still important to know the risks of heat exhaustion, especially if you live in a state with higher temperatures or if a drone rescue isn’t possible. Heat exhaustion could be a potential threat if you’re hiking or going out for outdoor physical activity when it’s hot.

First and foremost, prevention is always crucial to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke altogether, so taking the proper steps to prepare is vital.

Instead of doing outdoor physical activity during the afternoon, opt to head out in the early morning hours or wait until the evening during hot days.

This should go without saying, but adequate hydration should also be on your listen when preparing for a strenuous outdoor activity. When we sweat, we naturally lose water. With this, it’s always an excellent idea to have a trusty water bottle in tow.

Above all else, you also need to know their limits and try not to push your body too hard in extreme heat. If the way into a trail is challenging and symptoms of heat exhaustion begin, it’s important to remember that the way out will be even more challenging.

By planning a too-difficult hike, hikers put themselves at a greater risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.