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DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Security Coordination


Florida Public Safety CoordinationA new collaborative initiative with AIRT and AUVSI will help DRONERESPONDERS bring statewide resources together.  The Florida Public Safety Coordination Group will help agencies develop a statewide framework to support the use of drones and other unmanned systems in public safety.

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

The leading 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting the use of unmanned systems for public safety and disaster response, The Airborne International Response Team (AIRT), has entered into a partnership with the AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter, Inc, a 501(c)6 non-profit organization and subdivision of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and robotic vehicles, for the launch of a new public safety initiative assisting Florida’s first responders.

The two organizations are collaborating in order to develop a framework for supporting statewide public safety and emergency services organizations utilizing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and other uncrewed, remotely piloted, and autonomous technologies used to help save lives and protect property.

Under the banner of AIRT’s DRONERESPONDERS non-profit program, the DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Coordination Group will create a template for public safety agencies and emergency services organizations to work directly alongside industry, government, and academia through the combined expertise of AIRT and AUVSI members at the regional level.

DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Coordination Groups (DPSCGs) will operate in the U.S. at a statewide level with the backing of AUVSI chapters and other designated partners. The main goals of the DPSCGs will be to support the education, adoption, and use of remotely piloted, uncrewed, and autonomous systems by public safety and emergency service organizations at the state level, increase awareness and understanding of the value of drone technology by the public with a focus on underserved communities, and provide a system for government to directly collaborate with industry and academia at the regional level to foster innovation and better serve the community in times of emergency and crisis.

“We have witnessed an incredible proliferation in the use of unmanned technologies by public safety agencies at the state and local level,” said John Lambert, President of the AUVSI Florida Peninsula Chapter.  “Our collaboration with DRONERESPONDERS will help us support our first responders who are using these systems while also allowing us to better educate the general population about the value these systems can provide during emergencies and disasters.”

The DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Coordination Group will be led by a team of UAS program managers from public safety agencies all over Florida. Sgt. Robert Dooley, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program Coordinator for the Florida Highway Patrol, will serve as the first point of contact for Florida law enforcement agencies operating UAS, and Rich Gatanis, Firefighter, Hazardous Materials Technician, and UAS Program Coordinator for the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District, will act as the liaison for fire rescue departments operating drones and robotic systems.

“This new collaboration combining the power of the DRONERESPONDERS network with AUVSI regional chapters will establish a new model for government, industry, and academia to work together for the greater good,” said DRONERESPONDERS Director Chief Charles Werner (ret.). “We are excited to establish this model in Florida before expanding to other states.”

Read more about DRONERESPONDERS, AIRT, drones in public safety, and drone training resources for first responders.




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