Drones on the radar for Berkeley County rescue squad

Drones on the radar for Berkeley County rescue squad

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County rescue squad has their sights set on a brand new drone.

Last week, squad members sat in on a demo with Mt. Pleasant company Skyview Aerial Solutions, getting a hands on feel for the future of search and rescue.

The increasingly popular technology, which looks like a remote controlled  helicopter, is equipped with a high-tech camera to record from an aerial view.

"I know of several situations that a drone would have really helped us out," said Bill Salisbury, head of the Moncks Corner team.

A veteran of 45 years, Salisbury said infrared technology available on some models would save time and money, a valuable resource for the volunteer group that thrives on donations.

Right now, Tri-County sheriff's departments, SLED, along with community owners, each chip in to donate helicopter services for the Berkeley County team, when needed.

Even then, Salisbury says, there are still limitations.

"Helicopters are limited in how low they can go in the woods," he said.  "Those drones, you can get down and go around the trees."

Tom Fernandez, co-owner of Skyview Aerial solutions offered to donate drone use from his company, while squad members brainstorm fundraising efforts for the near $11,000 purchase.

"If you can remove the danger element to a police officer performing his job, then you can ensure that officer's loved ones and the department themselves, that person will come home safely that night,"  Fernandez said.

William Morgan, also a rescue squad volunteer added, "If we don't have the right piece of equipment, it can be a life or death situation."

Copyright WCSC 2014.  All rights reserved.