UVT's: Drones As First Responder Program

Respond With Intelligence
December 5, 2022 by
UVT's: Drones As First Responder Program
Chris Fink


On average, the nation's public emergency telephone number is called over 600,000 times every day. These desperate calls for help present the real-time possibility that a person or persons are experiencing a critical life-threatening emergency and are in immediate need of emergency responders. From medical conditions to automobile accidents, missing persons, and everything in between, each call is unique and deserves a caring, customized, and rapid response.

Knowing this, our nation's brave first responders and their leaders not only live with the awareness that mundane everyday events can become life-threatening emergencies in the blink of an eye, but are also proactively innovating ways to save more lives by integrating technology at every step.

From introducing drones and robotics to streamlining Emergency Response Plans (ERPs) and optimizing communication processes to respond more efficiently, public safety officials are building strong foundational programs dependent on preparedness through exercises, training, and the ongoing hands-on development of specialized tools designed to aid during critical incidents.

Faster Response To Save More Lives

The current emergency response structure has proven reactive at best. With ground units needing to be dispatched to clear calls, the national average for response time has grown to almost double digits. With no additional information about the incident given to responding personnel and no way to triage the scene ahead of time, emergency responders have been forced to continually improvise when arriving on scene.

Not to mention, the shortage of public safety personnel and staffing challenges many departments are facing make reducing response times an even greater obstacle and have left many in public leadership at a loss.

Until now, command has had to wait until a ground unit arrives to assess and triage a scene, making life-saving services cumbersome and reactionary. In this model the path to de-escalation can be thwarted if leadership is left making decisions based on the small amount of information available to them.

This is why cities, counties and larger jurisdictions all over the country like Oswego County are investing in and launching Drones As First Responder programs to help their public safety officers respond safely and with intelligence.

Responding quickly is a necessity. Knowing how to respond to an emergency situation quickly can mean the difference between life and death.

What Is A “Drones As First Responder Program”?

UVT’s Drones As First Responder program (DFR) is a proactive emergency management strategy, enabling drones to respond and arrive first on scene during critical incidents. Launched from remote and secure locations, drones are flown by a remote pilot powered by software like FlytBaseallowing you to automate your repeatable and routine drone operations with drone docks — for security, asset inspection, or emergency response — from wherever you are. Or,  DroneSense the most complete drone management and collaboration platform for public safety, which will soon be integrated with the DJI Dock. This software allows the entire first responder team complete situational awareness providing video streaming and real-time drone fleet organization and management when planning, conducting, and debriefing missions.

Working together, the team navigates the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) packed with sensors to monitor temperature, distance, air quality, and more to a safe vantage point for continual observation and overwatch of the area of interest. In most cases, because of their quick launch-ability, freedom from ground barriers, and capacity to be integrated into emergency response systems - drones are able to arrive minutes before emergency workers, capturing and streaming information to public safety leadership.  Currently, visual observers are necessary to ensure a successful and obstruction-free flight, but soon additional options in automation are set to change that.

The live, actionable data gathered in real-time is essential for commanders and first responders. Armed with this information and a clear understanding of the incident's scope and gravity, leadership can more intelligently allocate, direct and delegate resources to respond appropriately, pivoting when necessary.

Likewise, the agile nature of the drone platform allows for mobile pursuits when obstructions and congestion impede persistence from ground units. The best news, most of the enterprise systems we recommend for public safety are capable of flight for many miles beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and on a single charge.

Drones can increase efficiency and operational reach for you and your agency, but it won’t happen by accident. Cutting-edge technology often comes at a demanding cost making the acquisition and implementation impractical and/or the learning curve so time-consuming that efficiency is mitigated. That’s where we come in. 

Is UVT’s “Drones As First Responder Program” a Good Fit for Us?

The good news is you don't have to answer questions like this alone.  That’s what we're here for. To help get you started and point you in the right direction, we’ll supply everything you need to have a successful Drones As First Responder program. Here is what we know and what we recommend.

Photo Courtesy of Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. 

DFR programs have been successfully implemented in high call area’s in medium to large cities, and they are gaining steam in more and more jurisdictions, serving populaces over 100,000 across the nation.

These DFR leaders have successfully reimagined public safety. They are  optimizing their operational approach to simplify response while lowering their aircraft's flight ceiling footprint to capture more high-quality information faster.

What used to cost government agencies millions of dollars in expensive upkeep, fuel and potential risk with manned aircraft is now easily completed at a fraction of the cost with drones.

Each jurisdiction's responsibility to its community is unique and deserves a tailored response. UVT's approach starts with relationships and understanding. Our primary focus is first getting to know you, your agencies, and communities needs. Acquainting ourselves with your culture and challenges helps inform our experts as they plan strategic steps forward together.

UVT’s Approach

After needs have been identified and goals have been set our team will help pinpoint possible test launch site locations with airspace, response times, call history and statistics, congestion logistics and many more considerations in mind. Carefully chosen, the area your team selects to establish remote operations is critical to operational success or failure.

In addition to analyzing site locations and performing feasibility studies, our team will prepare and submit all compliance documents in accordance with 14 CFR Part 107, 14 CFR Part 91.113 (b) Beyond Visual Line of Sight and a regulatory safety assessment, as required by the FAA as well as procedures and risk reduction measures.

Working with your organization’s goals, budget, staffing, and sourcing — defined during the initial discovery and coupled with our giant selection of manufacturers and enterprise solutions — we will equip you with the right tools for your DFR mission, to list: personnel, training, hardware, software and ongoing support for the entire fleet, for years to come.

Getting Started With A DFR Program

For entities focused on public safety, these technological advantages paired with experts that can help you walk through the details and start-up (while offering a one-stop-shop of hardware, software, training, implementation, and support) is indispensable when facing staffing, response time, and resource challenges.

First and foremost, we are partners. We exist to equip organizations with the most advanced unmanned aircraft and robotics technology, supported by our industry-leading mission-critical technical and operational fleet support services. Our operational support has been built with your mission in mind and our commitment to you is that we are here for you, day or night.

UVT's roots, foundation and culture are public safety.

  • Our team is primarily composed of public safety personnel— many of who are still active today. 

  • We have built our business on long-standing relationships founded in trust, consistency and persistent support. 

  • We are familiar with and dedicated to navigating and managing government bids, grants, complex FAA sUAS regulations and the complicated authorization process for jurisdictional certificates of authorization (COA’s).

It’s because of these reasons and a combination of hardwork and dedication that UVT is leading the way, actively launching live Drones As First Responder programs for cities across the United States.

We are looking forward to becoming a partner and working with your organization to reimagine public safety with you. Click here for more information on how to get started today!

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