AIRT Emergency Response Distant pilots and drones

Image courtesy of AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS

At today’s AUVSI XPONENTIAL virtual conference, the Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) and DRONERESPONDERS are making an announcement that could save lives around the world. Remote emergency pilots, their equipment and public safety UAS programs are listed together in a geo-referenced database so that civil protection teams can find the resources they need.

The project is an brainchild of Brandon Karr, a public safety drone application expert from Pearland, TX. Karr started the project in 2020, recognizing the need to map drone programs for public safety, industry, nonprofits, and federal programs that could provide mutual assistance in disaster situations. Karr will work with DRONERESPONDERS as project manager to oversee the initiative, which will now be a global effort.

“There is an incredible need for a comprehensive georeferenced directory of public safety drone programs to facilitate information sharing, training and mutual assistance,” said Karr. “Working with AIRT, DRONERESPONDERS and the Esri public safety team will help us expand the reach of this initiative around the world.”

AIRT works with Esri, the world’s leading provider of location intelligence solutions. The Esri system provides an ideal environment for determining the location of trained emergency pilots who might be involved in management efforts and public safety drone programs.

The AIRT project provides two separate lanes for registering UAS resources:

  1. Public safety and emergency services agencies Those who develop or have an active UAS program can register via droneresponders.org
  2. Individual remote pilots Anyone who has the skills and abilities to respond to complex emergencies should register with org

US-based UAS public safety teams and individual remote pilots who register under the AIRT / DRONERSPONDERS program have the option to apply for inclusion in the Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS), which is distributed by FEMA and inventory resource tool used by emergency managers to identify potential resources for incident response. IRIS submissions are pre-qualified to assess whether they meet the requirements of FEMA sUAS Resource Typing for (1) Team for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (2-508-1246) or (2) Technical Specialist for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (2-509-1382) fulfill.

“DRONERESPONDERS will mark the home base and capabilities of the UAS public safety teams, and our AIRT GIS team will track the location of individual remote pilots with the right experience and equipment to assist in emergencies,” said Christopher Todd, Executive Director of AIRT. “I am assuming that within a few months we will have a database that lists the world’s largest Luftwaffe® with geo-referenced, unmanned aeronautical equipment for emergency operations.”

“This project is really just the beginning of a long process. First we need to create the database and allocate the resources, ”said Todd. “From there we will start assessing the capabilities of the teams and their equipment. At some point we will have a good sense of where UAS resources are available to respond to emergencies and disasters. “

The organization will soon deploy Esri ArcGIS dashboards and georeferenced StoryMaps showing the number and location of registered emergency drone assets around the world. As the database evolves, not only will it help disaster response teams access resources, but it will also demonstrate the growth and capabilities of drones for emergency response.

“This initiative is a combined team effort to have a positive impact and ultimately save lives,” said Todd. “We invite other partners to join this project and help us demonstrate the true potential of Drones For Good ™ on a global scale.”

Miriam McNabb is Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.

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