DroneSense Blog

Streamlining Drone Program Management for Public Safety Organizations with DroneSense

In recent years, the use of drones in public safety has become increasingly prevalent. These uncrewed aerial vehicles have proven to be invaluable tools for law enforcement, fire departments, and other emergency response teams. However, the successful implementation and operation of a drone program requires effective management. This is where drone program management comes into play.

Running a drone program requires constant vigilance and attention to detail in all aspects - from making plans and providing training to handling maintenance and ensuring compliance, it’s crucial to have an organized approach that prioritizes safety and efficiency while using these aircrafts.

In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of effective drone program management in public safety. We’ll also explore the need for proper training and accountability, common misconceptions, and how the DroneSense platform makes management easy.  By understanding these factors and implementing sound management practices, public safety agencies can harness the full potential of drones while prioritizing safety and operational excellence.

So let's dive in further to explore how proper drone program management can enhance public safety efforts and revolutionize emergency response strategies.

Enhancing Drone Program Success Through Training and Accountability

Imagine this: your organization acquires a new piece of equipment, such as a handheld thermal imager, a two-way radio, a body cam, or a portable fingerprint scanner. Would you allow your staff to operate these without first receiving proper training? Of course not. Tracking proficiency over time, establishing proper policies and procedures, knowing the whereabouts of these items, understanding in detail when and how they were used, and auditing usage as needed are all critical components that should be implemented before operating. Without proper training, this could cause a variety of problems right from the start and could result in chaos - or worse - lead to injuries and lawsuits due to improper use. In an ideal scenario, you would make every effort to ensure that the right policies, systems, and training are in place to ensure proper accountability before deploying these tools widely in the field.

All this may seem quite obvious, especially if you’re held responsible for the actions of your team. Yet, as powerful as a tool like drones can be to your organization, without the right platform in place ahead of time, these valuable programs could instead end up being very costly and ultimately even shut down. 

Recognizing Drones as Essential Tools: Overcoming Misconceptions and Embracing  Their Potential

In today's landscape, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) are often underestimated as potentially life-saving tools due to their affordability and ease of use. Regrettably, they are sometimes perceived as tangential to the mission or mere children's toys, leading to a lack of attention and vigilance compared to other organizational devices. This incomplete and misleading mindset can be perilous. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognizes UAS as "aircraft" and mandates that pilots engaged in public safety operations be certified remote pilots. Similar to crewed aviation assets and emergency response vehicles, UAS require considerations such as training, tracking, liability coverage, and well-established policies. Unfortunately, individuals with expertise in both drone operations and public safety are scarce, highlighting the need to proactively anticipate and prevent potential program pitfalls. 

As this transformative technology becomes a precedent in public safety operations, real-life missions uncover the immense benefits of aerial data and unique situational awareness. Consequently, public safety organizations must approach UAS with the same care and diligence dedicated to other critical equipment, ensuring that their drone program is established and scalable with full transparency and accountability from its inception. The era of unstructured and ad hoc drone operations, resembling the Wild West, is rapidly fading, paving the way for a new age supported at the highest levels of government.

Safeguarding Your UAS Operations: The Vital Role of DroneSense

The DroneSense platform is designed specifically for public safety and emergency response organizations, with many of your vital considerations in mind. We partner directly with public safety organizations to understand requirements, hurdles, and challenges around the multiple dimensions of a drone program. We then leverage this regular feedback to design and consistently enhance our platform, ensuring its role as a reliable support system for your operations. This allows you to build and manage a robust drone program with full accountability, transparency, and compliance – just as you would seek out for any other new equipment in your organization.

Key Components of the DroneSense Platform

Our feature-rich platform consists of 3 components: i) Flight Control, ii) AirBase, and iii) Operations Hub, with data flowing seamlessly between each area. Easily tap into all aspects of your program with features that include:

  • Pilot currency, equipment proficiency and real-time flight hours all tracked automatically
  • Flight replay engine to accurately review historical flights and media collected in great detail
  • Automatic hardware tracking including drone flight hours, lifetime battery percentages, maintenance schedules, and much more
  • Customizable and enforceable pre-flight and post-flight checklists
  • Data stored locally or on secured servers, per client requirement (no “off-shoring”)
  • Media retention policies, set per organizational requirements
  • Custom reports for personnel, flights, budgets, and more–to satisfy internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to quickly respond to public information requests and audits for maximum accountability
  • Maps with restricted airspaces and no-fly zones
  • Easy and repeatable electronic filing of NOTAMs
  • Incident reporting with associated pilots and hardware
  • On-scene collaboration, ensuring all drone pilots and incident commanders are in the loop via a common operating picture

The Big Picture

Utilization of drones in public safety organizations is an obvious choice that is rapidly gaining traction across the nation. However, failing to have a comprehensive drone program management platform that addresses the critical aspects of a UAS program right from the beginning is akin to taking unnecessary risks. It’s like tempting fate or overlooking the opportunity to utilize readily-available, affordable, off-the-shelf drones for live-saving missions.  When incorporating UAS into your organization on a continual basis, it’s essential to prioritize accountability and compliance. You need a reliable solution that guarantees smooth integration of this technology into your operations, providing peace of mind and risk mitigation..

Discover how DroneSense can be your trusted partner in building and managing a robust drone program. With its comprehensive suite of features and commitment to public safety, DroneSense empowers your organization to achieve full accountability, transparency, and compliance. Take the next step toward transforming your operations with this game-changing technology.