On-scene video from Fremont's drone first responder program empowers responders to make better decisions, de-escalate situations when possible, and identify potential hazards and rescues.  -  Photo: Skyfire Consulting

On-scene video from Fremont's drone first responder program empowers responders to make better decisions, de-escalate situations when possible, and identify potential hazards and rescues.

Photo: Skyfire Consulting

The police and fire departments in a California community are teaming up to launch what Skyfire Consulting calls a first-of-its-kind joint Drone First Responder (DFR) program in the United States.

The program, approved by the Fremont City Council in February 2024, is leaning on Skyfire for its support and training to enhance public safety and emergency response times.

Enhancing Situational Awareness and Response

The Fremont DFR program utilizes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) launched from fixed locations in an effort to rapidly respond to public safety incidents.

These UAVs, piloted by certified professionals, are designed to arrive on-scene ahead of first responders to provide critical real-time situational awareness through live-streamed video.

This can help in situations where there is road traffic for patrol vehicles and fire trucks. The drones can be used to create an on-scene presence more quickly, and give responders a better idea of what they're walking into, enhancing safety.

The on-scene video empowers responders to make better decisions, de-escalate situations when possible, and identify potential hazards and rescues.

"Skyfire is honored to support Fremont in launching this historic DFR program," Skyfire Founder and CEO Matt Sloane said. "Our team's deep experience and commitment to public safety were instrumental in bringing this program to life, and we are confident it will serve the Fremont community well."

Pilot Program Success

The Fremont Police and Fire Departments conducted a successful pilot program from November 2022 to January 2023, deploying UAVs from strategic locations. The pilot demonstrated the value of DFR in enhancing public safety, reducing response times, and ensuring first responder safety.

The Fremont DFR program is further bolstered by a partnership with Washington Hospital Healthcare System. The healthcare system was set to begin hosting UAV launches from its rooftop location, expanding the program's reach and response capabilities within the community.

"We’re proud to work with Skyfire to launch this groundbreaking DFR program," Fremont Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Kleven said. "This program has the potential to save lives and make our community safer, and Skyfire's expertise has been invaluable in getting us to this point."

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