Like other tech companies, DJI also gets its products into the hands of “real users” before they are launched officially. One such beta tester for the newly announced Matrice 30 enterprise drone was the Weber County Search and Rescue – a volunteer organization assigned to assist the Weber County Sheriff’s Office in the state of Utah. Incredibly enough, the SAR team was able to witness the lifesaving capabilities of the DJI M30 drone firsthand when a snowboarder became stranded in North Fork mountain valley land.
As Lt. Mark Horton from the Weber County SAR team recalls the incident that took place recently, he says the M30 not only found the missing person “within 10 minutes of being on scene,” but the drone also helped map out an escape path, letting rescuers know “the safest way to get off the mountain without getting into more trouble.”
The M30 series comes in two versions: the M30 and the M30T. The drone that Weber County SAR team received for beta testing was the latter, which features an additional 640×512 px radiometric thermal camera to find hotspots and heat signatures.
To reassure the snowboarder that he had been found, the rescue team put an aerial spotlight on the man, which drone operator Kyle Nordfords explains “was great for him to be able to look up, see the drone, and know that he was found.”
Overall, the team says the M30 series drone cut the rescue mission time in half, with Horton saying:
It just makes the rescue so much faster and safer for everybody involved, from our patient to also our heroes, our rescuers on the ground.
Indeed, when marketers call a product game-changing, transformative, or revolutionary, more often than not, it’s just that – marketing. But as any search and rescue team who’s laid hands on an enterprise drone would tell you, this technology is not just helping save lives, it’s keeping first responders out of harm’s way by giving them the context they need to move quickly and make the right decisions.
Here’s Weber County SAR team in their own words: