Drone Use in EMS
As technology progresses, the techniques used in Emergency Medical Services advance along with it. Drones are being used to rescue patients from accidents or bring vital supplies to remote areas.
How drones have been used in rescue missions
Rescue crews used drones as aerial surveillance in 2007 after the hurricane. So many areas were flooded that it was impossible to send ambulances. The drones provided images to rescue crews and allowed them to know where hurricane victims were located. Then they could determine the best way to reach the people who needed help, whether by boat or plane.
Drones were used by search and rescue teams to find avalanche victims. The drones were equipped with thermal imaging. The thermal imaging identified the body heat of the people who were trapped after an avalanche, so rescue crews were able to get to the victims and rescue them.
Requires specialized training
The use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), requires specialized training and must follow all laws and best practices on federal, state, and local levels. EMS departments that use drones need to research what is expected of them, as well as train members to maintain the drones and fly them.
Drones can carry supplies to remote areas. Perhaps people are trapped at the top of a mountain and need medical supplies, but emergency crews are miles away and unable to reach them in a fast amount of time. The drone could go on ahead to locate the victims and provide basic medical supplies, like a first aid kit, and communication devices for them.
The future of EMS
There are many ways that drones can make the rescue activities of Emergency Medical Service departments more efficient. Future drones may also bring EMS robots to remote locations or after a large-scale natural disaster. We have no way of knowing how this technology will progress and how it could benefit EMS teams and other emergency crews.
As with any new technology, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest research, follow all guidelines, get appropriate clearances, and be properly trained to use the technology. EMS will be able to respond to patients with drones, and other types of technology, in the near future.