Before we start into today’s blog post, I just wanted to let you all know that LONE WOLF, the first book in the FBI K-9s series, is out today in mass market paperback. Prefer to read print and were curious about the series, but thought the hardcover was too pricy to try? This is your chance to jump into the series for a cheap and cheerful price. You can find it at local booksellers as well as Amazon.com, Amazon.ca , Amazon.co.uk, and Chapters.Indigo.ca. It’s a great time to jump into the series as BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE will be released in just four weeks!
A recent news story caught my attention for numerous reasons. Not only did it involve a real-life search-and-rescue dog team, but it also involved drones. For those of you who have read LONE WOLF, you know we used drones as a method to deliver chaos and anarchy in the form of high-energy explosives, leading to death and destruction. But this story is quite different.
The Swiss Association of Rescue Dogs (REDOG) was officially founded in 1971, but the use of mountain rescue dogs in Switzerland has been going on for centuries for avalanche rescues and to find missing climbers. Now one of the foremost rescue groups in the world, REDOG currently has 650 members and 500 active rescue dog teams, and is known for both it’s wilderness and urban disaster training. They deploy both nationally—where approximately 3,000 people go missing each year—and internationally, responding to natural disaster and missing person calls.
Recently REDOG has teamed up with the Swiss Federation of Civil Drones and this combination uses the best skills of each group to facilitate searches. Drones—often pilot-controlled octocopters which can cover distances up to five kilometers at 100km/hour—are used to search mountainous terrain which would be unsafe for both the dog and handler, as well as being able to cover open spaces encompassing large areas with high definition visuals that are then reviewed by a search specialist. If a victim is found, rescuers are sent in to that specific location. If evidence of a victim is found, search-and-rescue dog teams can be dispatched for a more localized search.
The benefits of the two groups working together is clear. Combined searches are more efficient and save time and resources overall, significantly cutting down average rescue times.
In a turnaround from how drones were used in LONE WOLF, they are again used in our now drafted manuscript for the third book in the series. The book starts as we drop Meg and Hawk into a post-hurricane search-and-rescue mission, and it’s a shock for Meg to hear drones in the air when she’s been conditioned to recognize them as deadly. But in this case, as we are sadly seeing right now in Texas, drones can safely fly over flooded areas and can send back specific images to help pinpoint searches, potentially saving lives when time is of the essence.
Photo Credit: REDOG