Indiana’s Bargersville Fire Department uses UAS to find missing woman



A UAS is being credited with helping to rescue a missing woman in Bargersville, Indiana.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office says that a woman was reported missing shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday, September 14.

After police and other search members narrowed the search down, a Johnson County Sheriff's Office deputy who was present during the search recommended dispatch to call the UAS in to assist with the search.

Bargersville Community Fire division chief Eric Funkhouser arrived with the UAS two hours into the search, and within just 15 minutes of being in the air, the UAS found the woman alive.

“We had located her and we were able to end the search basically,” Funkhouser says via

“We were able to see that heat signature on the screen and then take the drone, fly it over where she was located and hover above her. Members of the sheriff’s department and those at the scene went straight to where the drone was in the air and locate her.”

The UAS has made “roughly 20 runs” to help with searches since its initial launch, and this was the first time that the UAS has helped locate a missing person, much to the satisfaction of Funkhouser.

“It validates everything that we wanted in this program,” Funkhouser says.

“To be able to go out and make a difference and locate someone who was having a medical emergency this morning, and find her and get her the help she needed – she was lost out there – to locate her means everything to us.”

Currently, there are two members of the Bargersville Community Fire Department that are certified to fly the UAS, but that number could grow as the UAS gets utilized more and more.

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