Skyfire Consulting announced Dec. 16 it has launched the most robust and comprehensive Drone as First Responder (DFR) program set-up in the nation— a means by which the deployment of drones enhances response to emergency situations and adds an element of safety for public safety agencies and the community. DFR programs aim to decrease response times, provide situational awareness, and increase efficiency.
In 2019, working on behalf of the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) with support of the City of San Diego, Skyfire became the first consultancy to help obtain FAA approval for the nation’s first active emergency response Certificate of Authorization (COA) with a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) provision for public safety as part of the FAA’s IPP program. This certification allowed CVPD to operate drones within the nation’s first and only DFR program within a 40-square-mile area, more than 10 times the previous coverage area.
“DFR programs like Chula Vista’s have proven to be a much more streamlined way to ensure drone coverage over active incidents,” said Matt Sloane, Skyfire founder and CEO. “In our effort to always stay ahead of technology and regulations, we look forward to helping many more agencies adopt these types of programs and keep both responders and citizens safe.”
With its new DFR program offering, Skyfire continues its goal of improving the lives of first responders and the safety of the public by providing agencies guidance and support towards every detail needed to get a DFR program off the ground.
The Building Blocks of a DFR Program & What Skyfire Provides
Equipment: Skyfire provides consultation and facilitates procurement of the latest aircraft from multiple manufacturers to meet public safety department’s requirements. From the most entry level to complex, Skyfire has several equipment options available.
Training: Skyfire’s training covers program development, FAA regulations, UAS operations, Part 107, and hands-on tactical applications. Skyfire offers advanced courses as well in SWAT operations, accident reconstruction, and evidence collection.
FAA Consulting: From basic Part 107 certification to Blanket and Jurisdictional COAs to Tactical Beyond Visual Line of Sight (TBVLOS) and traditional Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, Skyfire has more experience than any other consultancy in the country. Skyfire has filed over 400 traditional COAs in partnership with agencies all across the country.
Software: Using various types of software, Skyfire provides public safety teams with everything from remote video streaming to full remote-piloting capabilities from the comfort of a desktop computer. Software services are billed separately, and as a recurring service.
Program Operation: For agencies lacking the crew resources to initiate a DFR program, Skyfire’s team of experienced, vetted and safety-conscious pilots fly the UAS, and through our software packages, give communications and command teams the ability to see low latency live-streaming data to make time-critical decisions and maintain all public safety decision making.