Over the past few years, drone technology has been making a major impact on public safety. In a report released by drone manufacturer DJI, more than 133 people have been saved by drones worldwide since 2017. With drones now being used for search and rescue, medical deliveries, and even to fight fires, that number is only going to climb. On May 31st, 2018, four people were saved in three separate incidents on a single day. Check out the tweets and videos below from two of the rescues that occurred on that day. 

More recently, drones were used to map the aftermath of California’s Camp Wildfires. A group of volunteers from a consulting firm called Scholar Farms got to work and navigated many logistical challenges to map dozens of zones of damaged areas. The volunteers worked with DJI and law enforcement to provide resources to capture the images and DroneDeploy to process them. They were able to map 90% of the damaged areas within two days. The impact of this work was significant and was most felt by the residents of the area that had been evacuated. Thanks to the team’s work, those residents could click on their neighborhoods and see detailed views of the damage. Check out one of the maps below that was used for the California Camp Fires.

According to Dan Gettinger, co-director at the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, at least 900 cities in the US have acquired drones for public safety purposes as of May 2018. Drones are becoming more commonly used by first responders and public safety organizations as technology improves. From dropping floats to swimmers in distress to locating lost hikers with infrared cameras, drones and their pilots are making a difference every day! 

Follow our blog all week this week as we celebrate the very first National Drone Safety Awareness week. For more stories on drones in public safety, check out our ongoing blog post: Drones to the Rescue.

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