MIAMI – Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – also known as “drones” – continue to transform the way public safety professionals tackle emergencies and disasters. To help expedite adoption and use of UAS ops by first responders, the non-profit DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance was unveiled on April 12 at the UAS DRONES Disaster Conference in Miami to assist law enforcement, fire rescue, search teams, emergency management, and other stakeholders implement UAS technology and maximize its use for life-safety missions.
Led by Chief Charles Werner (ret.), Chairman of the National Council for Public Safety UAS and a nationally-recognized expert surrounding the use of drones by public safety organizations, the DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance will forge partnerships with other organizations across government, industry, and academia to continue the adoption and evolution of UAS.
DRONERESPONDERS will focus primarily on three core missions of:
1. PREPAREDNESS: Providing shared education and training capabilities surrounding the development, implementation, management, and flight operations of public safety-related drone programs to help first responders standardize UAS as a tool for everyday missions.
2. RESPONSE: Developing and maintaining a global directory of UAS teams, remote pilots, assets, and capabilities that can be deployed when emergencies and disasters strike.
3. RESILENCE: Deciphering and standardizing concepts, regulations, and procedures across like-minded organizations around the globe to develop consistent protocols for public safety and emergency management drone operations resulting in more resilient communities.
“Public safety agencies around the globe are yearning for additional knowledge about how they can effectively use drones for life-safety emergency missions,” says Werner.
“DRONERESPONDERS will function as a support mechanism to help first responders better navigate the complex unmanned aviation landscape.”
DRONERESPONDERS will strive for standardization while effecting evolution within the public safety UAS realm via a series of three key objectives that support each of the DRONERESPONDERS core missions. These objectives include:
1. LEARN: Producing conferences and large-scale regional events that unite UAS program managers, operators, and key stakeholders for educational presentations, workshops, and other programming that provides knowledge and develops the mindset needed to operate UAS safely and effectively for a wide range of public safety and disaster response missions.
2. TRAIN: Holding local training camps and clinics that provide detailed instruction to UAS field operations teams on specific functions and evolutions like search and rescue, damage assessment, HAZMAT response, news gathering and public information, aerial forensic analysis, and more.
3. TEST: Coordinating drills and full-scale exercises predicated on the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and designed to validate the capabilities of UAS flight teams and operators in responding to various types of emergencies and catastrophes.
The DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance will be run as a program under the AIRT, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2017 to help provide unmanned aviation resources for public safety and disaster response. DRONERESPONDERS will work in cooperation with the National Council on Public Safety UAS (NCPSU). Werner will serve as the DRONERESPONDERS program director, in addition to maintaining his position as chairman of the NCPSU.
“We are thrilled to join Chief Werner in launching the DRONEREPONDERS program,” said Christopher Todd, Executive Director of AIRT. “This is the first step of a combined effort among the whole community to fully integrate UAS for public safety and emergency management.”
The DRONERESPONDERS program will help compliment the over-arching mission of AIRT to fill emergency response gaps between government, industry, and academia, according to Todd. DRONERESPONDERS is in the process of assembling an advisory board comprised of leaders across the public safety UAS domain. Werner expects this process to be completed within 60 days.
“We want to include the best and brightest public safety UAS minds in the DRONERESPONDERS project,” says Werner. “But those minds also need to come with reliable arms to do some of the heavy lifting needed to help us accomplish our objectives.”
Werner will provide additional information about the DRONERESPONDERS program during the public safety track at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL in Chicago from on May 1. In the meantime, individuals and organizational representatives interested in becoming more involved in the DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance program should visit droneresponders.org to pre-register for the program.
About AIRT, Inc.
AIRT® (Airborne International Response Team) is a Florida-registered 501(c)3 non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides innovative aviation and aerospace resources to help people and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from complex emergencies and major disasters. AIRT is transcending traditional borders to build the World’s Largest Air Force® for #aviationforgood. Our global remote pilot network is ready to #getup whenever disaster strikes. For more information, visit: https://airt.ngo
About DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance
The DRONERESPONDERS non-profit mission is to facilitate preparedness, response and resilience using unmanned aircraft systems and related technologies operated by public safety, emergency management, and non-governmental volunteer organizations around the world. The DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit operating program of AIRT, Inc. For more information on DRONERESPONDERS, please visit: http://droneresponders.org