With Tonto Creek swollen because of recent rains, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office is turning to an innovative way to get medications safely across to residents.

Last weekend, the GCSO, with the help of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, sent medications via drone to two residents living on the east side of Tonto Creek.

GCSO Sgt. Dennis Newman said one of those residents was a veteran who needed insulin.

TRSAR volunteer Brad Cole flew the drone with the medicine safely packed inside an empty peanut butter jar attached via string.

A paramedic on the other side collected the medicine and delivered it to residents.

Also that weekend, a GCSO deputy delivered medicine to east side residents by boat.

Due to heavy rains, Tonto Creek was reportedly flowing at 14,000 cubic feet per second at times, well above the normal flow, Newman said.

It could be some time before the creek is safe to cross again.

Residents needing medications should take the following steps:

• Have the prescription paid for and ready for pickup.

• Call the GCSO at 928-402-1872.

• Provide the dispatcher with the location of the medicine, delivery address, the name of the patient, date of birth and phone number.

The service is for medications only.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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