DJI keeps tabs with #DronesForGood

With one Ghislaine in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it would be fair to assume that the world has forgotten about Ghislane Ihimbazwe, the little girl from Rwanda who will forever be grateful that Zipline was there to save her life on the 21st of December, 2016.

Then only two, Ghislane was probably the first person to have a Zipline drone intervention save her from the jaws of death, as she had fallen into a coma by the time an ambulance wheeled her into the district hospital in Kabgayi, Muhanga district, about 40km to the South West of the capital Kigali. The child was suffering from an acute case of malaria, and needed red blood cells in her system urgently. But the two units she needed to live were three hours away in Kigali, and there was no way the ambulance would get to her on time.

But then, Zipline was just setting up base in the country, and Kagbayi just happened to fall within the radius of their first base in the country. In only six minutes, the Zip made the first of its 110,000 emergency deliveries and still counting; dropping Ghislane’s salvation just outside the hospital doors.

Since then and even before, drones have saved about 413 people in different circumstances worldwide from a near death experience. DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, has started keeping tabs with these acts of heroism by drones; the company has been tracking and mapping incidences where drones have been called upon to rescue people in distress all over the world.

Drones have saved people from starvation, fire, weather elements; and even from fatally harming themselves – as they did for a suicidal 25-year-old Chinese man who wandered into a dangerous mountain area infested with wild boars in the night. Police tried to reach him on his mobile phone but could not find him until they launched a drone to search. He was found semi-conscious, clutching a knife, but was brought to safety.

As of now, DJI have located and mapped 234 situations where drones saved 413 people’s lives in 28 countries – Ghislane is the only case from Africa thus far; Asia has 23 cases, Europe 63. Oceania has three, while South America has fourteen cases. North America has the most cases, with 130 rescue incidences so far.

Because they want to keep tracking information as up-to-date as possible, DJI has asked everyone with information about the good work done by drones in their community to share it so the world can know.

“To be included on the map, a drone must have been used to rescue a person from peril,” says DJI. “It doesn’t matter which company made the drone, but drone must have played an active part of the search or rescue operation, and must also have made a difference in accomplishing the rescue faster, safer, more easily or more effectively than would have been possible without the drone.

“For example, if a drone is used to search for a missing person who is found by a ground searcher, or a drone watches while crews rescue someone from a remote location, it is not considered a drone rescue. But if a drone guides rescuers to a hidden victim, or brings supplies to someone stranded, that is considered a drone rescue.

Each incident must include basic information such as the date and location of the rescue, backed up by links to news stories or authoritative social media posts from the rescuers. If you want to report a rescue that was not featured in news coverage, please provide an official public safety agency report or other documentation of the incident.

“We know there are many more successful rescues than are listed on this map, and we hope drone enthusiasts and public safety officials will share more of those great stories to include here. We want to make sure every drone rescue pioneer gets credit for what they’ve done.”

To share the information, one must fill out this form.

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