DJI and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) Thursday announced an official partnership that will seek ways to integrate the use of drones into first-response missions.
Over the next year, the world’s leading aerial-platform maker and EENA expect to gain deeper understanding of how aerial technology best adds value to emergency-service providers in different scenarios, environments and conditions.
Brussels-based EENA was established in 1999 as a non-governmental organization and serves as a discussion platform for emergency services, public authorities, researchers, associations and solution providers with the aim of improving the emergency response in accordance with citizens’ requirements.
The joint DJI-EENA program will provide carefully selected teams of pilots in Europe with the latest aerial-technology equipment, including DJI’s ready-to-fly Phantom and Inspire drones, its M100 platform and best-in-class Zenmuse XT thermal-imaging system.
Throughout the program, selected teams will receive intensive hands-on training, support and guidance on application-development using DJI’s software development kit. At the program’s end, EENA and DJI will share insights and best practices with the broader international emergency-response community to promote the safe integration of drones in emergency situations.
The partners have selected the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department in Denmark and the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team in Ireland as the first two test sites.
In Denmark, the focus will be on drone applications for firefighting, chemical accidents and larger car accidents in urban and over-water environments. The team in Ireland is already using advanced software applications through DJI’s SDK to coordinate search & rescue missions in remote areas, and the focus will be to improve real-time networking techniques and crowd-sourcing capabilities.
Applications from other organizations interested in participating open at EENA’s annual conference in Prague on April 7.
“With this partnership, we hope to demonstrate the power of aerial systems in first response missions,” said Romeo Durscher, DJI’s director of education. “Drones are transforming the way first response and civil protection missions operate by not only helping commanders make faster, smarter and better informed decisions, but also by providing first responders with more detailed information from an aerial perspective. The technology is easy to deploy and can be used in dangerous situations without risking pilots’ lives. This ultimately saves lives and property.”
EENA Deputy Executive Director Tony O’Brien said his organization is excited to partner with DJI to bring its expertise and latest technology to the NGO’s members.
“EENA has a unique position to observe how aerial technology has been – and has the potential to be – implemented to support first-responder services. With this program, we seek to better understand how challenges in terms of logistics and data-analysis and integration can be overcome to fully realize the benefits of drones in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations,” said O’Brien.