Minutes before Halifax’s volunteer search and rescue team was called to resume the search for Mitchel Bellemore yesterday afternoon, they unveiled new ground-breaking technology that will track their members’ whereabouts when they’re on the job.
“The GPS radio units carried by each team are in constant communication with a receiver at our command base,” said search manager Tony Rodgers at the unveiling in front of City Hall.
Inside the team’s new logistics vehicle — purchased through a grant from the province — Rodgers explained how the system works.
“See the coloured lines on the map right now and the diamonds at the end of it?” he said. “Those are actual searchers. Right now they’re out walking and they’re being tracked just for a demonstration to show how it works.”
On a digital map, a thin blue line on the computer screen moved around Citadel Hill while a red line wandered through south-end Halifax.
This is the first functional system of its kind in North America, Rodgers said.
“Some may find that surprising as the technology has been depicted in Hollywood action films for over a decade,” he said. “But let me assure you that this necessary hardware did not exist a year ago.”
Searches go high-tech
Minutes before Halifax’s volunteer search and rescue team was called toresume the search for Mitchel Bellemore yesterday afternoon, theyunveiled new ground-breaking technology that will track their members’whereabouts when they’re on the job.