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PCFR Uses Drone to Locate Patient in Distress

Published on Nov 28, 2022

Bartow, Fla. (November 26, 2022) – On Friday at 12:46 p.m. Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) received a report of a hiker in distress at Tigers Creek Preserve and ultimately located the patient using an aerial drone.

Upon PCFR’s arrival, the Fire Rescue aerial drone was launched to begin searching for the patient who was reportedly stranded on a rural walking trail. From an aerial view through specialized cameras, the drone was able to see what crews on the ground could not allowing PCFR to successfully locate the individual and render aid.

Polk’s current drone program began in 2019 and currently conducts various missions for search and rescue, HAZMAT team deployment, major disaster scenes, storm damage asses. “Our drone program is essential to the commitment of the department’s 21st Century all-hazards preparedness,” said Fire Chief Dr. Hezedean Smith.