The next person who gets lost or stranded in Umatilla County could get help from the SARbot.
Umatilla County Emergency Management’s new $25,000 unmanned aerial vehicle is its most technologically advanced yet, sporting capabilities such as infrared imaging and the ability to carry a few pounds of food or medical supplies to a stranded person waiting for rescue.
“I personally think this is going to be one of the premier drones in emergency management this side of the state, at least for a while,” emergency manager Tom Roberts said.
The county has used smaller, lesser-equipped drones in the past for search and rescue missions, fugitive hunts, and reconnaissance during disasters such as wildfires and hazardous material spills.
When the Tillicum Inn in Umatilla caught fire a little over a year ago, firefighters were able to scope out the situation on the roof using a UAV. Another time the gadget went into the air to