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N.C. county demos AED delivery by drone during simulated emergency

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office flew the drone to a simulated emergency and dropped the AED to the 911 caller

By Bill Carey

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office showcased their new AED drone at a demonstration event.

The drone is designed to deliver life-saving devices to emergency scenes before first responders can arrive, WFMY reported.

“In some of the rural parts of Forsyth County, the response time for even fire might be very long,” Forsyth County Emergency Services Medical Director Stephen Powell said. “It might be something closer to 12 to 14 minutes and that’s just because of some of the geographic limitations of living in a rural part of the county and that’s specifically where we can deliver a drone quickly to their home where most cardiac arrests occur and that’s where this can be really beneficial to our county.”

At a demonstration by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the effectiveness of their new drone was tested through a simulation.

The drone took off from one location, flew to a simulated emergency scene and deployed an AED to the ground. Meanwhile, 911 dispatchers instructed the bystander on the phone in CPR techniques, how to operate the AED and actions to take while waiting for emergency responders.

“We delivered the first in the nation and it is showing the capability of delivering the AED defibrillator via drone,” Forsyth County Sheriff, Bobby Kimbrough Jr. said. “Just imagine, we did it with an AED, we can deliver Narcan, there are so many things that we can deliver with this. we can deliver medicine and imagine having them at locations throughout your county. Someone calls in a 911 emergency the same way we launched a drone for first responders. We can launch an AED remotely, all from sitting downtown in the command staff room the communications room, or even the real-time intelligence.”