WHERE: Navajo Nation Reservation
The Navajo Nation is a rural desert reservation with numerous chapters, cluster communities and isolated rural households across 27,413 square miles (the size of West Virginia). 15,000 of 18,000 miles of reservation roads are unpaved dirt roads highly susceptible to damage from heavy snows, floods, and washouts that make the roads challenging if not useless for travel. The terrain is high deserts with sparse vegetation, elevation 4,000 – 12,000 feet with higher elevations heavily forested with Ponderosa pine and weathering drought, heavy rainfall and abundant snowfall. People frequently go missing especially in dead zones, and they include elderlies with dementia, vehicle breakdowns or accidents, individuals hunting or simply searching for help, crime victims, and most frequently, children. In non-COVID times, school buses drop children off at paved road dead ends from where even small children begin walks alone towards home often in darkness. With tribal police and fire departments extremely small and HQed at only 7 major Agency and New Lands hubs, the Navajo Nation has no choice but to rely on community-based search and rescue (CERT) volunteers to find missing persons. The Tribe provides one-man emergency management office to help local CERTs organize, and the result of such limitations has been very few organized search and rescue teams. On their own, communities respond swiftly to news of missing individuals, recently mustering family-based teams using pick ups and horses to find a child in the rural desert Newcomb community through days and nights, ultimately finding the child safe after 5 days. Shiprock Search and Rescue (SSR) is the only fully organized search and rescue CERT in the Northern Agency, roughly 1/6 of the Navajo Nation mainly in NM but also serving portions of AZ and UT. Founded and operated by ex county and Navajo fire personnel, SSR relies on organizational support and fundraising through a community leadership-based fiscal sponsor (Indian Country Grassroots Support). SSR is the “helm” team for less organized community emergency response teams (CERTs) and performs command, messaging, staging, logistics and vehicle support, and training for all volunteers spread out across the Northern Agency of the Navajo Nation.
Amazing volunteers donating their time and energy to help others. Please Donate to NPS-DDP.org today!
Navajo Nation Police and Fire, and San Juan Fire are the sources of all SSR’s dispatch calls, which are immediately messaged to all CERTS, staged, then methodical searches commenced with police and fire support. More recently dispatches have also come from Durango Police since the March 23, 2021 donation of a night drone by North American Coal Co. The SSR team is ready and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist local law enforcement agencies and other first responders. The night drone has been a tremendous blessing, cutting down search time and widening search area as well as reducing likelihood of searcher injuries when searching in areas ridden by snakes, gullies, washes, ravines and wholly uneven grounds. However, it is an expensive piece of equipment, and it is not optimum to use it night and day as well as over wide areas of need in all weathers including sudden high sand winds. We would be enormously grateful if a day drone could be procured for daylight and tougher weather searches so that the night drone can be utilized for nights mostly and, in any case, there should be an available spare. SSR has a facebook group page which we ask you to please join to access videos and messages. Please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/496526320549553/ and click “Join Group.” Please also visit the youtube video link below or this facebook link for a SSR Christmas 2020 message showcasing participating CERT teams.
Public safety departments nationally may apply to receive a UAV/drone at no cost or obligation to the department.
Loc8 : SAR Volunteers, Emergency Responders, Law Enforcement & Government Agencies; Loc8 is a comprehensive solution that empowers search and rescue volunteers, emergency responders, and government agencies to quickly scan images from drone footage to locate missing people or objects by using advanced image scanning technology that isolates specific pixel clusters
On June 2 2021 The shipRock search and rescue will receive a donation from the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program NPS-DDP.org and Loc8 (pronounced “Locate”). My name is Tony Lockly, I’m the co-founder and CEO of Loc8, a suite of patent-pending software applications developed to quickly and effectively scan thousands of digital images (still and video) collected by drones, manned aircraft, satellites, closed-circuit television cameras, etc. to search for missing persons or objects.
As sUAS programs expand around the globe, the volume of aerial imagery data collected grows exponentially. Unfortunately, there are few tools designed to analyze these terabytes of data captured by the growing squadron of drones. Loc8 was designed to address the expanding need for image analysis.
Loc8 is a patent-pending image scanning technology that analyzes the individual pixels in any JPEG formatted digital image by searching for color(s) that match a user-defined color palette. Once the defined pixel color(s) are detected in the scanned images, Loc8 reports the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the detected item’s location (s). Additionally, Loc8 can provide a scale to the digital image to calculate the detected item’s approximate size.
With an off-the-shelf laptop running an Intel Core I7 processor, Loc8 can analyze 1,000, 20-megapixel images in approximately 4-minutes. By contrast, scanning those images with the naked eye (“squinting”) would take approximately 33- hours for a skilled “squint”. When time is of the essence and life and safety are at stake, Loc8 can be a powerful “resource-multiplier” in any SAR mission or tactical operation.