BOVINA, Wis. (WFRV) – When an elderly man with dementia went missing yesterday, instead of searching on foot, Outagamie County deputies used drones to find him.

Searching on foot would have taken a long time, but deputies found him in just under an hour with this technology.

This is not the first time law enforcement has used drones. In fact, they have been using them on a weekly basis for about five years to aid in a variety of cases from finding missing persons to helping SWAT enter a dangerous environment.

Sergeant Nathan Borman of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office says, “Had these deputies not been there with a flare drone and been able to find him, it’s very likely this [case] would’ve had a terrible outcome.”

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Flares in the drones are used to find heat signatures to detect people and animals.

The 83-year-old man was found in a field about 400 yards away from his property. He is currently in the hospital, but there is no word on his condition.