How dogs and drones are slashing rescue times in thewake of natural disaster.

Well, this is incredibly cool.

An unlikely dynamic duo is changing the game for Swiss rescue operations needing to move quickly after natural disasters.

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

Dogs...

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.


...and drones.

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

The Swiss Federation of Civil Drones has partnered with the Swiss Association for Search and Rescue Dogs (REDOG) to complete a handful of missions — including one this week.

On Aug. 23, 2017, journalists at a press event were being shown how the dogs and drones work together during a rescue exercise on a grassy plain outside Zurich, when, incredibly, an actual landslide occurred in the Swiss Alps near the Italian border.

Drones and dogs were among the resources deployed to the region — a popular area for hikers.

As of this writing, eight people — from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland — were still missing following the landslide that rocked the remote village of Bondo, CNN reported.

The tragic event — which forced an estimated four million cubic meters of mud and rock plummeting down the side of the Piz Cengalo mountain in southeastern Switzerland, the BBC reported — illustrates how vital it is to have resources like trained dogs and drone technology at the organizations' disposal.

Both organizations aim to eventually have drones complement the dogs' work on every rescue event.

“This allows us to have an eye in the air and a nose on the ground,” REDOG president Romaine Kuonen told AFP.

In the wake of natural disasters, drones are particularly helpful at scanning areas unsafe for people (and dogs) to venture, such as the dangerous terrain surrounding cliffs. At the same time, dogs are especially handy at sniffing out those who need rescuing in heavily wooded areas, where operating drones can be difficult.

Allowing dogs and drones to, in a sense, divide and conquer larger areas in the precious hours following a natural disaster — where rescue teams are racing against the clock to save lives, as they did in the wake of the Swiss avalanche — is truly changing the game.

Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

“The main benefit is to gain more time, to be more efficient and to be faster to find the missing person,” Dominique Peter of the Swiss Federation of Civil Drones explained to AFP.

Stay up to speed on the news unfolding in Bondo, and learn more about Swiss efforts to combine dogs and drones to save lives in a video by AFP below:

Most Shared
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular