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Drones for First Responders – Elk Grove, California

first responders

On Tuesday, February 14th, I gave a presentation on drone applications to a room full of First Responders as guests of the Consumnes River Fire Department. Most of the material presented was focused on SAR and firefighting, but we covered some other safety and law enforcement topics as well.  Before we go any further, I have to state for the record that I in no way claim to be a SAR, LE or firefighting expert. I was asked to present because of my background in training and work at the University as well as experience working with Gene on training programs and policy issues over the years.

The material covered came directly from the Drone Pilots Inc training programs.

I covered a couple of the Drone Pilots Inc training programs that detail the how why and what you need to think about when adding drones to a department or team. They have an Administrators 2-day course which is broken down into sections: Getting Legal to Fly, Practical Application, Equipment Selection and Best Practices on how to fly to name a few of the topics.

The 100-hour certification course covers it all; it even includes written SOP’s, Operations manuals, system manuals, COA assistance and even a Public information Package! These concepts were developed for First Responders by First responders. Guesswork or conjecture cannot take the place of professional training and in the field experience. These topics are backed up by best practices added to an already existing process, a process that has been developed and trained by experts.  

Here’s my takeaway-

Professionals are leery to stake their reputations and jobs on unknown quantities.  A mishap or mistake could potentially embarrass someone’s superior or worse, his or her superior’s superior, and we all know the adage about “stuff” rolling down hill.  

The highlights were applications and case studies of past work with links to white papers, books and other reference material explaining the lessons learned for different first responder fields. I’d call it a Public Service Announcement with drones!

The learning continues –

The Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition will be offering a 3-hour Drone For First Responders workshop. You’ll learn the mechanics of how to set up a search as well as a rare opportunity to go out into the field to see professionals in action at the SF Drone School Research Center.  This workshop is offered at a special price for public safety professionals, but the public is also invited to attend.

Sign up here –

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