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Firefighters used drone to help find missing 6-year-old Bedford Co. boy

The drone they used to track him down covered 50,000 feet of land (WSET)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- A little boy is back home and safe after he went missing for several hours Thursday evening in Bedford County.

The Bedford Volunteer Fire Department was able to search for six-year-old Samuel Welch and cover ground using a drone. A ground search team found him.

A firefighter at the Bedford Volunteer Fire Department said they got a call from the Bedford County Sheriff's Office that a six-year-old, the son of a Forest Volunteer firefighter, had gone missing around 10 a.m.

The drone they used to track him down covered 50,000 feet of land.

The volunteer fire department said it deployed two drones that they used for about two hours.

Along with the two drones, dogs, and even helicopters searched around Dowdy Rock Road for little Samuel.

"The purpose of that is to cover a lot of ground. They had people in the woods, we were able to coordinate with the people in the woods through the air to cover to search a large block of land," said Bedford Vol. Fire Dept. senior firefighter Curtis Marshall.

Marshall said the boy had wandered off farther than they had anticipated, but he was found at Little Otter River, across the creek.

Firefighters said they primarily use the drones for search and rescue as another tool to keep the community safe.

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