Free drone training for first responders in the USA

In remembrance of the September 11 attacks in the USA twenty years ago, and in recognition of the work done by first responders as the first line of saving people from emergency and disaster situations, American drone services company is offering the first responders free online drone training.

Our readers might remember Connecticut-based Aquiline Drones as the company that first imported the concept of ride-hailing to drone technology – through its Flight to the Future training project – last year.

Now, the company is seeking to honour the services of first responders in a unique way through teaching them about the basic drone technology as part of first response to make their work easier.

“It’s being given to law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders nationwide for free as a way to thank them for who they are and what they do,” said Barry Alexander, founder of Aquiline Drones.

“We thought that they should be equipped with the best tools to help them do their jobs efficiently, but also to keep them out of harm’s way as much as possible. This program is designed to provide them with a superlative skill set, but also to celebrate what first responders do for us as a society every day.”

Normally, the course – which can take any time between six and eight weeks – costs $1,300 to complete. The course content includes regulations, drone hardware and software, cloud technology.

Trainees will also get instruction in aspects such as pilot training and certification, technologies for starting a drone business, drone business ideas and best practices; as well as how to successfully launch an independent drone business.

Most of the instruction is conducted online, with a hands-on training component offered at the end of the remote instruction.

The free training for first responders in the USA is scheduled to run through to the end of 2021.

Drone technology has of late increasingly become an important component in emergency response; so important that, even as 800 of their siblings were being grounded by the USA federal government last year, DJI drones involved in fighting the California fires were allowed to stay in the air and help the fire fighting crew.

Among other things, drones can also be flown ahead of physical manpower, to survey an area which could be dangerous for responders to tread into blindly, especially when responding to situations like a fire breakout, a shooting crisis and related crime scenes where it would be advisable for responders to understand what they are getting themselves into, and be adequately prepared.

Closer to home, the provincial government in the Western Cape province in South Africa has had its drone unit running in all directions once its operating certificate was approved last year. Recently, the emergency medical services drones were part of a search and retrieval operation in a settlement called COVID-19 in the Mfuleni area in Cape Town.

They were helping scour the river in the search for the bodies of four men who were allegedly killed by local residents on suspicions that the men were responsible for a spree of burglaries in the area.


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