A drone training and consulting company has announced it is offering a bumper investment to boost UAV applications within the emergency response sector.
DARTdrones is offering $100,000 (£71,000) in public safety grant funds as a commitment to save more lives with drones in response to having observed the capabilities of drone technology in emergency applications such as policing and fire and rescue.
The $100,000 pledge comes one year on from the company’s appearance on Shark Tank. Last year the small team at DARTdrones pitched the company on the business show and has since tripled the size of its team, expanded training to 40 cities across the country, and added curriculum to assist commercial pilots as well as providing life-saving training to police, fire, and federal agencies.
DARTdrones has trained over 70 police and fire departments and utilises flight instructors with both public safety and manned aviation experience. Alysha Marzani, marketing co-ordinator of DartDrones, told CDP that entities from outside of the United States, including the UK and wider Europe, are welcome to apply for funding.
“From mapping a disaster area to providing a safe evacuation route, drones provide critical intelligence to a police officer entering a dangerous situation. As a public safety UAS instructor, there is no greater pride than seeing the knowledge and skills you impart on your students being used towards saving lives,” said Mike Uleski, DARTdrones’ chief public safety instructor and Daytona law enforcement officer, firefighter, and EMT.
Recipients of the DARTdrones Public Safety Grant will be awarded full or partial funding for their initial training needs, potentially including basic flight training, Part 107 test prep, search and rescue training, accident investigation training, aerial disaster response training, and a number of consulting and legal documentation writing services.
DARTdrones drone academy already offers a number of free resources online for public safety departments including “Starting a Drone Program with Your Police Department,” “Starting a Drone Program with Your Fire Department,” and “The Lives Saved with Search and Rescue Drones 2017.”
Additionally, the company will work with grant participants to collect data on the use of drones in public operations to continue the development of new and thorough training programs as technology and additional use-cases emerge.
Paul Matheson, DARTdrones public safety flight instructor and a helicopter pilot for air ambulance operations and search and rescue missions, added: “With tight budgets and the need for a force multiplier, public safety entities across the country are beginning to see the value in utilizing sUAS in their day-to-day operations.
“The advantage of having eyes in the sky providing situational awareness, scene security, command and control, investigation, search and assist, and patrol at a far lower cost than a manned aviation unit is changing the game for public safety operations – this is the future.”