The latest advances in drone technology may have people viewing UAVs in a brand new light. As new technology usually tends to intimidate people who are not familiar with it, drones are no exception to the rule. Public awareness and drone pilot training are very important.
Citizens are concerned about their privacy being violated, which is a reasonable concern by all means. Thankfully, The FAA has intervened and made laws to protect the public from exploitation via drones.
Another issue is people are afraid of a pilot losing control of a drone and people getting hurt in a crash. This is also understandable. Fortunately, laws are in place that requires all professional drone pilots to complete a course, so they know what they’re doing when they control their UAVs flying through the air.
The final concern seems to be fear of the unknown. The general public doesn’t know what drones are capable of and most have only heard of drones being used for extreme situations, like bombing.
Those responsible for responding to emergency situations are finding out through research and experience just how helpful drones can be in assisting them in their line of work.
The police, as well as citizens, are beginning to understand how drones can save lives in many search and rescue situations.
How Can Drones Help Us
In the case of fire emergencies
Certain drones can be equipped with a heat detector. This can be critical in the case of a fire within a building. When homes and apartments catch on fire, often firefighters have no way of knowing if there are people trapped inside and if so, where they are.
By sending in a fire resistant drone to scope out each room, the rescue team can determine if there are people who need to be saved. The heat detector can also signal where the fire is the hottest and where the fire most likely started.
The drone can sometimes detect the presence of humans within the residence even if they can’t be seen due to smoke. If no one is trapped inside the building, the firing squad will know not to endanger anyone in the team’s life by sending them into the most dangerous parts of the building to find people. They can choose a safer route to getting the fire put out.
In the case of natural disasters
Drones can also be a much-needed help during natural disasters. If a landslide or earthquake occurs, it can be much faster to use a drone to survey the damage and search for injured citizens. Helicopters were once the primary vehicle used in these types of dire situations.
Although they are the ideal choice for rescuing people who can’t escape from danger surrounding them, drones are the quickest and most efficient way to find them. UAVs can get closer to the action and obtain better videography than a camera person or search team can from high up in a helicopter armed with only a video camera or binoculars.
Because drones can be the quickest response vehicle on the scene in the case of a wildfire, they should be able to retrieve the data necessary to determine where the fire is headed next. At that point, government officials can send fire trucks to try to put out the current inferno and stop its progression.
Drones as a police force
North Dakota now allows drones to assist police in taking down criminals. The drones can’t legally shoot or fatally wound anyone, but they can stun perpetrators after given police orders. This type of police force is new, so right now some citizens are wary of the new gadget on the force, but it’s easy to understand the benefit a stun drone can have.
In the case of a hostage situation where the abductor is armed, a drone can fly in and temporarily paralyze the kidnapper so the hostage can flee and police can step in before anyone gets seriously hurt. It’s important to remember that the drones used by the police require a pilot to operate the controls, it is not a robot acting on its own.
These are just a few of the many examples where drones aid in public safety. As the government slowly integrates drone assistance in common safety procedures and emergency situations, the more comfortable the public will likely become when it comes to using the drone technology in everyday necessities.