With the population of Montana expected to continue growing in 2024, law enforcement agencies across the state are utilizing modern technology to aid in search and rescue efforts. Much of Montana's terrain is rugged and not easily accessible, making the job of search and rescue crews extremely difficult at times.

SAR Drone

Montanans love spending time outdoors and venturing into the backcountry. Both summer and winter offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore all that the state has to offer. Search and rescue crews in Montana remain busy year-round, but at times, ground-based crews are unable to access certain areas.

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In 2023, the Kalispell Fire Department announced the addition of an emergency drone response team, and now the technology is being used in other places in the state.

The use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) to support fire department operations has become widely accepted as a low-cost tool to enhance situational awareness on emergency scenes.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue Launches New Drone Team


According to the Friends of Gallatin County Sheriff's SAR Facebook page, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team has announced the addition of a drone team. The new unmanned drones will help with searches across Gallatin County. Drone Team members are certified by the FAA and drone pilots are highly trained in search techniques. Drones will be able to provide an aerial view of large areas that ground-based crews are unable to access. Some of the drones will be equipped with thermal-imaging capabilities and will help with searches after dark.

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