Alger County Rescue 21 showcases its DJI drone
MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - Last fall, Alger County purchased a drone for the Alger County Rescue 21 team to help make rescues more efficient.
The drone has already proven useful as 911 Coordinator Codey Grahovac said they recently used it to find the body of a missing ice climber. The climber was identified as 31-year-old James Bake who fell into Lake Superior during Ice Fest in February.
“We were able to search the water and located them in approximately 15 feet of water,” said Grahovac. “We were able to see them very clearly with the drone.”
The department said this electronic device costs over $17,000 and is equipped with lights, cameras, and a speaker. One Team Captain AJ Schierschmidt stated the DJI drone is simple to operate.
“All we do is pull it out of the case and turn it on and turn the controller on and let them connect,” said Schierschmidt. “It does everything itself if it needs updating or whatever it will do it prior to the flight, and as soon as you get GPS coordinates on it you can launch it,”
The department also states that you have to be part 107 certified by the FAA to fly the drone. To become certified, you can take a two-day class or the FAA test.
Alger County Undersheriff Steve Blank expressed how a drone like this will be utilized in many different ways to help save lives.
“Somebody that’s a ice climber or rock climber that’s hanging off a cliff and we know that, and he can’t come up can’t go down we can actually put this thing over the cliff and look where we can’t see up above,” said Blank. “We can actually hover that down and have a conversation, if possible, with the person that’s hanging.”
The entire department said they hope to get more advanced devices like drones to better serve the community.
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