Posted 4:58 PM 6/7/2012 : Boat in desert may save lives
TUCSON - The Northwest Fire Department has a new tool in its arsenal for responding to swift water rescues and her name is Emily.
The rescue boat weighs 25 pounds and is about 4 1/2 feet long.
Emily is the creation of Tony Mulligan, a Sahuarita man, who has developed unmanned aircraft vehicles said Kyle Canty, a Northwest Fire captain.
The radio control rescue boat came to Northwest Fire by way of a grant. There are at least seven others in the southwest including one in Green Valley, Canty said.
Emily can deploy into water and immediately travel to a victim. The person, can then either latch on to the device or grab on to a line. Canty said rescuers will be able to bring that person to safety, "essentially, it keeps rescuers out of the water if the correct opportunity presents itself. If we don't have to send rescuers out into the water we certainly don't want to."
Northwest Fire rescuers will begin training with Emily in the next two weeks and expect to begin using the device as early as this summer's monsoon.
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