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P4 for search & rescue? Anyone using it?
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medicdanderson
lvl.2

United States
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Just wondering if anyone has used or has intentions of using the P4 for search purposes. I bought mine simply for recreational use (though I am a paramedic in Wisconsin) but am now thinking it might not be a bad idea to bring it around for our calls involving searching around areas such as the banks of rivers, open fields, etc. I know a lot of departments in our area are using drone technology for investigative purposes - our local detective used a P3P for aerial photography following a structure fire - as well as criminal investigation, but I also understand you need a warrant, licensed pilot, and whatever else the FAA requires.

I think this technology has a huge place in public safety - it's just trying to get everyone educated, especially the public.
2016-4-2
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madaerial
lvl.3
Flight distance : 512251 ft
United States
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I live and work in Madison, WI. I heard a story from an officer here about the Fire Department assisting in a "manhunt" search with their quad once. Theirs has an infrared camera (it was super effective) and could even be used at night. I think the case you would want to make to your employer is that it could help you determine if a scene is safe for you to render assistance by getting a more complete view of situations. I don't have a PI license, but have thought about getting one (I work in Public Safety for the City and also the school district). I'd think PI's would love them. I just want to make pretty videos really, but definitely see your point and a lot of the officers I have talked to about mine have expressed interest. A couple of cops have said they think there should be one in every squad. But man, I'd hate to see the public outcry if police started flying these routinely.
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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I know a guy that's part of a mountain rescue team in the UK who uses a P3 for SAR.  As they don't make money from it, they don't need CAA permission.  I'd expect it would be the same with the FAA, but you might want to check that.
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medicdanderson
lvl.2

United States
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madaerial Posted at 2016-4-2 13:43
I live and work in Madison, WI. I heard a story from an officer here about the Fire Department assis ...

Interesting. Madaerial, I live just north of  you, up in the Dells area.

The public outcry is bad enough as it is, I can't imagine once we start introducing some new technology in to the realm of everything.
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275105 ft
United States
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A friend of mine is with Mountain Search and Rescue.  He and I were discussing this and he spoke to his superiors about it.  They were interested but found that one they needed,  ( they thought ) was 20 thousand and that cooled them off.  So we did some testing using my P3. Range was not a problem.  Flight time was ok. The problem was,  in the mountain to maintain radio contact you have to be up high. And from up high it is near impossible to see a human, even if moving.  It would need a thermal camera,  which can be had for around 1400 dollars. I don't know if you could mount it to a Phantom easily or not.  I still offered my services to them if needed,  and they may take me up on it,  because in S&R luck is as much a part of it as anything,  and the more eyes looking the better.  But helicopters and light aircraft would also be in the air,  so that may be a non starter anyway.  
That's just my experience, for what it's worth.
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