The drones become the “second” best friend of the rescue dogs


  • In Switzerland disappear each year between 3,000 and 5,000 people, most of them walkers.
  • rescue teams with dogs work from 2016 with the Swiss Federation of Drones Civilians, who are engaged in work.
  • “The drones increase the safety of the equipment, the efficiency of the operations, reduce the time of the search and improve the flow of information.”


“Anu”, a pastor, shepherd australian, out of the hand of your guide in search of a biker and a hiker lost in the woods. At the same time take off a drone to support it from the sky mission: the technology, the smell of the dog and the experience of the man combine forces in rescue missions.

In Switzerland disappear each year between 3,000 and 5,000 people, the most walkers, athletes, accident victims, children, people with dementia or with suicidal thoughts, explained Romaine Kuonen, president of the Swiss Association for Dogs for Search and Rescue (REDOG), the only association member of Red Cross who looks for missing people in the country.

The guides and dogs at the command of Kuonen departed in the past year to 22 missions, and from the autumn of 2016 work with the Swiss Federation of Drones, Civilians, who have already collaborated on twelve operating search and rescue.

“we Saw that we needed a plug-in from the air“, stated the president of REDOG.

In each mission there is a drone available which is piloted by one of the five pilots licensed by the Federation, on many occasions by Dominique Peter, who has more than ten years of experience since he drove his first unit not manned and that combines your passion with a good cause.

The drone that comes out today in the simulated rescue of two people lost in Winterberg-in the canton of Zurich – is a Matrice 600 of the company DJI, founded in 2006 by Frank Wang.

It took three years to develop its first product, explained in a meeting with international media the head of Communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Annika Karstadt.

The company, says, today has a market share of 70%, and have wanted to support the collaboration between REDOG and the Swiss Federation of Drones Civilians.

Kuonen believes that dogs, with about 250 million smell cells compared to 5 million of the man, and generated even “one of the best, if not the best, find people lost or missing”.

But the drones, “increase the security of computers, the effectiveness of the operations, reduce the time of the search and improve the flow of information” about the means that are needed for a rescue, he said.

“We have seen that we can improve the result and the efficiency of the search of missing persons”, said the president of the Swiss Federation of Drones, Civilians, Ueli Sager.

“We look at areas of difficult access for the dogs, we can track in a short time large areas, and to leave free for canines the areas that we cannot reach, as, for example, in the forests,” he explained.

Another advantage that has to resort to drones is the reduction of costs of the rescue operations -which can amount to a search of 2 to 3 days to up to 44.000 euros – not having to count on helicopter support, said Kuonen.

in Addition, the team of REDOG and the Swiss Federation of Drones Civilian participates voluntarily in the search and rescue, so there are no salaries and costs funded with donations.

Under this perspective, the search for missing persons is carried out combining tradition with innovation and technology.

On the ground, the search with the dogs, train them between three and five years, is still the usual.

Next to Marianne Baggenstos your dog “Anu” tracks the designated area with his harness and orange bells.

If find missing person can bring you to the guide in his mouth a kind of rope, or cane, or bark.

The book continues to be essential, because the dog reacts to their instructions, but, as explained by Dominique Peter, he as a pilot of the drone you can also run the couple.

Peter looks on your monitor through the camera optical or thermal) of the drone that spots it in the ground or supports in which tells the person to his side, wearing special glasses, and has a much better view of the images.

For the professional pilot, the drone is “the arm of his body” and in the search operations which makes the device “is to improve the chances of success of the dog” in the field.

A drone, depending on the model, can fly approximately a half-hour. After that you have to change the batteries.
this is why Peter always carries in his car a generator and multiple batteries.


The drones become the “second” best friend of the rescue dogs
Source: english  
August 25, 2017

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