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When it counts, We’re there

That is the motto of Civil Defence in Ireland. This was proven at 00:15 (12:15 am) on Wednesday the 12th of August when a request for assistance came from An Garda Síochána in East Galway. They requested our Unmanned Aerial System (Drone) with its Thermal Imaging capabilities to aid in a search that was underway.

Once the request was received contact was made with our IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) Certified UAS Pilots and our call out sequence was started.

One of our members beside some rail carriages

Within 20 minutes of the initial alert there was 5 members from three units en route to stations to equip their 4×4 vehicles with search and rescue equipment, medical equipment and PPE.

All units were able to pass information continuously via the TETRA communication system while en route as the incident was evolving. One of our UAS Pilots made contact with Shannon ATC and Valentia Coast Guard to inform them of search operations commencing and to ensure we did not interfere with any flights by any Rescue Helicopters that may also be responding

Vehicle (mid left), Search Personnel (far left), Response Vehicles (far back).

Shortly after arriving on scene our UAS was airborne and searching the assigned areas. Over the course of their flights they covered approx 9km of distance over ground but were able to use their multiple cameras to search a wider area while hovering.

The missing person was found a short while later near some buildings in the general vicinity. Our response changed from a Search role to a First Aid role. The casualty was assessed by one of our Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. They were medically cleared and left in the care of the family.