On Friday September 10th the WBFD was requested to assist on a search detail in Marion Township with our UAS (drone) resource. Utility 18-2 responded with our drone equipment and met at the command post to be briefed on the incident. Shortly after be brief crews relocated to a a area of interest that consisted of a acres of cornfields. Our drone was deployed and began to scan the cornfields using our thermal imaging capability. Approximately 25 minutes into the flight crews had a strong indication of a heat source in the cornfield. Upon closer inspection it was determined the position location of the subject in the cornfield. Crews advised the command post and were able to lead other first responders to the location of the subject.
This was the first emergency mission for our UAS equipment that was recently acquired in July 2021 and placed into service. The drone resource was funded from a state grant with additional funding coming from a sizable donation from a local business. The drone has zoom and thermal capability and will be used for high risk large scale incidents where valuable intel can be gathered and used to assist the incident commander with making crucial decisions.