Scottsdale firefighters used a drone Saturday as part of their effort to rescue a woman who was suffering heat stroke on a hike along Ringtail Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
The woman, who is in her 60’s, began hiking about 7:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. She called 911 after she started experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms about 2.5 miles up the trail, according to the Scottsdale Fire Department.
A department drone was launched 10 minutes into the incident to assist crews in finding the hiker, officials said. It flew about 2 miles and ensured rescue crews were on the right trail, they said.
The woman was treated by paramedics and flown by helicopter to a hospital.
"The biggest thing about flying a drone is it's about safety for the citizens and safety for our firefighters," Capt. Dave Folio said.
The department owns six drones, which are able to fly up to 400 feet and 5 miles away from the drone pilot, according to officials. Drone cameras capture 360-degree views, live stream and send exact coordinates of a location.
In addition, water bottles, life vests, helmets, speakers and flashlights can be attached to drones for people who may need to be rescued.
The Scottsdale Fire Department provides these hiking tips: