Drones Helps Rescuers Search for Alabama Tornado VictimsRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Mar 08 2019 8:35 PM
NOTE: Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza is an extremely strong advocate for the use of drones.
During Sheriff Valenza's first term as Houston County Sheriff he was introduced to the drones in a stand off situation. From that point forward Sheriff Valenza has established some officers trained in the use of drones and he has updated his drone fleet.
Sheriff Valenza and Houston County Sheriff Department drones have been called to other counties and they have assisted them in many different ways. Some are during certain activities that are on going and video evidence of a crime scene.
I do not think Houston County Sheriff drones went to Lee County. I do KNOW THIS, if Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones had requested them, Sheriff Valenza would have had them enroute within minutes of the call.
Drones Helps Rescuers Search for Alabama Tornado Victims
LEE COUNTY AL: Rescue crews didn't have to stumble through every destroyed building in their search for victims after a tornado ravaged a corner of Alabama this week: They used heat-seeking drones to let them know whether there was anyone beneath the ruins.
In so doing, they joined the increasing ranks of public safety agencies across the U.S. and around the world that have employed unmanned thermal-imaging aircraft during critical situations, including manhunts, wildfires and other natural disasters.
In tornado-stricken Alabama, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said Tuesday it was not clear if drones spotted any bodies or anyone injured or trapped in the debris. But at the least, they helped reassure searchers that they hadn't overlooked anyone in the aftermath of the twister that killed 23 people.
"They gave us an overhead view of areas we might have missed had we been at eye level on land," Jones said.
Thermal-imaging drones use infrared cameras that find heat sources on the ground, in buildings or in water, at any time of day, whether from a human or animal, alive or newly deceased, or from other things, such as flames.