Drones (UAVs) have been recognized as the technology of the future to be used for various purposes, and one of them are including emergency services. Previously, we have only seen such things in movies, but today we can see their application and real use in the real world. The three main areas where drones for emergency services would play a major role are civil protection, safety and environmental protection. What is most needed in the ideal choice of an emergency drone is experience. Technology is progressing day by day and you must keep up with it.
Drones around the world are increasingly replacing helicopters and their deployment in emergency services. Also, they are significantly cheaper, more flexible, and perform faster than conventional helicopters. They have the ability to browse the entire crisis territory much faster, using their cameras. Now that we have seen the possibilities of using drones in crisis situations, it is necessary to select the most suitable drones for the job. These are 5 main types of emergency responses and the best drones for that same job:
|Emergency Services:||Best Drone For Job:||Availability & Price:|
|1. Search and Rescue Missions||DJI Phantom 4 PRO||Check Price & Reviews|
|2. Fast Medical Interventions||Zipline||Check Price & Reviews|
|3. Life Guard Drones||AuxDron||Check Price & Reviews|
|4. Firefighting Missions||Aerones||Check Price & Reviews|
|5. Police Search And Crime Prevention||DJI Mavic PRO||Check Price & Reviews|
Features Drone Must Have For Emergency Services
The uses of drones are almost limitless; and can be used in all segments of human life and improve its quality, facilitate work. Research has shown that they can be applied in various industries where they are used as executors of the tasks themselves or as an auxiliary tool to man. New technologies and the development of unmanned aerial vehicles systems are emerging as the future and opening up a new page for aviation development worldwide. But not all drones are the same in features, and you need to know exactly what types of tasks you need the drone for and with what capabilities. The features of drones for emergency services (responses) should have the following capabilities:
- Ability to use drone in windy, rainy or snowy conditions.
- Ability to carry packages or medical equipment to inaccessible locations. This feature requires the drone to have a stronger structure, motors, and the ability to carry and attach these items.
- The ability of long flight time, requiring a good quality battery, and a GPS system to keep the drone in the right place.
- Ability to take high-quality photos or videos and live stream capabilities.
- The ability to quickly unpack and use a drone in a timely manner. Not to waste a lot of time getting out into the field.
How to Choose the Best Drone For the Job?
The biggest advantage of drones in rescue operations is the speed in reporting that speeds up the process in real time. Security is the most important element in performing actions. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to choose a quality drone for a specific task so that you do not at any time endanger human life. Drones can be used in areas where helicopter flight for tactical reconnaissance is not feasible or sustainable. The advantage is the cost-effectiveness and the reduced risk of performing the operation. The sound produced by the drone and even the one for tactical terrain photography is negligible. A helicopter can handle a larger area, but again it cannot fly as low as a drone, which in some situations is a disadvantage.
Therefore, when selecting a drone for a suitable emergency services scenario, one must first have experience in a particular profession in order to be able to select the right drone model for the job. Some drones require flexibility and speed, while some require long flying times and the ability to carry cargo. Different crisis situations such as fires, first aid, sightseeing and rescue all require different experiences, as well as the features a drone should have. Brand drones such as DJI are very suitable and of high quality for some tasks such as navigating and locating people in lost areas, while for some of the more complicated tasks special drones that are not made for commercial purposes but made to order are required.
TOP 5 Drones For Emergency Services
1. Search and Rescue Missions
DJI Phantom 4 PRO
Phantom is a series of drones produced by the Chinese company DJI, which are used for commercial, amateur and also rescue use. This drone is very popular for its ease of use and user friendly appearance. The fourth-generation DJI Phantom 4 PRO was introduced in March 2016, and it is the first drone to have features such as obstacle avoidance technology, marking locations as interesting, and tracking systems.
The drone has two sensors on the front that help to avoid obstacles, but this only helps when moving forward. This drone has LED navigation, which makes it easier to use when flying at night. Flight time of this drone is up to 30 minutes, plus a high quality 20 MPX camera for stills and 4K videos at 60 fps. This drone has the ability to carry loads of up to 2kg without particularly affecting flight quality. The „AutoTrack“ tracking system allows the drone to track an object, such as a car or a person, and keep it in the center of the frame at all times. This system uses the same technology as the obstacle avoidance system, building a 3D model for the object being monitored and the environment.
Phantom 4 also has a TapFly facilitated steering system, which can help inexperienced pilots. It requires a DJI Go app and a compatible device, and it works by having the pilot click on the screen, which shows the live recording, and the drone will immediately go to the selected location. The drone will move slowly to keep the image sharp, but will not be able to make sharp turns.
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2. Fast Medical Interventions
Although the first commercial drone delivery service was launched in Africa, there are more and more pilot projects for robotic aero-delivery. Zipline thus tests the delivery of blood and plasma. The San Francisco-based Zipline is already delivering medicines to remote hospitals across Rwanda. Such delivery is possible given that they operate in a country with minimal infrastructure and low air traffic. Other developments include drones with legs for easier landing and a safety feature that automatically stops the propellers when they are near a foreign object.
This Zipline drones can carry up to 1.8 pounds of cargo and fly at 110 kilometers per hour. They will also deliver life-saving medicines – such as snake bite serum and rabies vaccine, which are important in every minute; said GAVI CEO Seth Berkley. Zipline explained how it works: doctors and nurses would order an emergency vaccine or medicine via SMS, and delivery should arrive within 30 minutes.
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A similar project, but a pilot phase is already underway in Virginia, USA, where drones deliver drugs to distant farms. In Germany, the drone delivery system is being tested by DHL owned by German Post. And that’s where tests are done through drug delivery. By far the most famous drone has Amazon. The largest online store in the world has also developed its own brand, Amazon Prime Air.
‘No one in Ghana should die because they cannot get a cure in an emergency’
3. Life Guard Drones
Situations when a swimmer gets in trouble far from shore and needs immediate assistance, drones are the ideal solution. Life guards in Australia are using drones to save lifes when people find themselves helpless in the ocean. When a couple of swimmers find themselves in the sea off the coast of New South Wales. The drone drops a flotation device to them and they use it to get to shore, and a team of lifeguards are ready to train with the drone at the time. The Australian government spends more than $400.000 to implement it into lifeguarding. It’s the part of a $ 16 million plan to minimize shark attacks as well, but obviously it’s useful as more than a shark lookout. Drones can usually get to people faster. In Australia it only took a couple of minutes for the drone to launch and reach the swimmers. Drones could turn into lifesavers in other ways.
There are also private companies like GeneralDrones that are working on rescue prototypes such as AuxDron, which has a complete 8-probe rescue system and is waterproof and has an impressive 34 minutes flight time, which is above average for drones. The drone is also equipped with a video camera so that it can scan the exact situation in which a person is and navigate it. Drones have the ability to quickly locate swimmers, which is very important in some situations.
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4. Firefighting Missions
Firefighters and rescue services also often use unmanned aerial vehicles to scout and monitor fires from the air, or to quickly search large open areas in rescue operations, as threat elimination services. The Latvian company Aerones has built a drone that can extinguish fires by carrying a fire hose that is attached to a hydrant with water and thus able to extinguish inaccessible areas. Otherwise ordinary fire trucks have the ability to extinguish fires at heights of up to 30 m, while this drone can reach heights of as much as 300 to 400 m. The drone’s weight is 55 kg and width is 3m. It has the ability to lift 145 kg of cargo and can be up to 30 minutes in the air. The aim of all institutions participating in the civil protection system is to ensure a safe life for the population and to protect it quickly and effectively in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, storms, fires and in various disasters.
Preventive actions such as monitoring the terrain for the purpose of detecting fires and the very speed of response damage from adverse events can be avoided or at least reduced. The use of drones in firefighting operations greatly increases the safety of firefighters, facilitates the early detection of fire sites and thus prevents large-scale fires from being prevented.
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5. Police Search And Crime Prevention
DJI Mavic PRO
In parallel with the development of unmanned aerial vehicles and their widespread use, it is necessary to develop effective ways of defending against misuse of such aircraft. The basic defense would be to destroy the drone in the air. However, this mode of defense may be effective and acceptable in military conditions, but it is by no means acceptable for police activity, which is mainly conducted in urban areas, surrounded by numerous civilians and various assets (buildings, cars). Namely, when a drone is destroyed in the air, it inevitably breaks down into smaller parts and falls uncontrollably on the ground, which can cause civilian injury or cause material damage to buildings, infrastructure, cars and other property; and the activity itself leads to citizen harassment. Therefore, in terms of policing, it is necessary to resort to a different, more sophisticated way of defending against drones. The most common drones used by police today for search and crime are DJI Mavic PRO models.
So far, several different methods of defense against drones have been developed that are acceptable from the police point of view and have been effectively introduced by the various police forces of the world. One of these systems is a jamming anti-drone rifle, a drone rifle to capture a drone through a network, and to capture a drone using another drone. So far all of these methods are equally effective.
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Advantages of the Drones In Emergency Services
One of the essential items during the work of the rescue teams is the maintenance of communication between all participants in the accident. Communication can often be interrupted due to the consequences of a disaster and it is impossible to restore communication channels under such conditions and therefore other alternative methods in which rescue teams can assist should be accessed in a short time. Drones besides communication could also bring live video footage from the accident scenes. Disaster prevention is one of the more demanding problems of civil protection. It must be remembered that most natural disasters cannot be avoided such as earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions and so on. Even predicting such disasters is almost impossible.
Nevertheless, some catastrophes can be monitored (with drones) before they occur, which can provide the opportunity to prevent or at least reduce human casualties. Providing assistance after a disaster is also a challenging civil protection problem. It involves the work of various teams who must be assured of rapid dissemination of information, communication, connection and coordination in their work. What makes the work of rescue teams difficult is certainly the bad weather conditions that persist even after the disaster itself. One of the important factors of correct action is to have an insight into the current situation or to update maps of the affected areas, where drones can make a significant contribution. Due to the difficulties and bad weather, rescue teams have a great advantage in data collection and visualization as opposed to traditional technologies.
Limitations of the Helicopters
Drones take precedence over helicopters because of their small size and flexibility. At emergency examinations, drones can better scout the situation and see how the injured can be helped before medical services arrive at the scene. They also have the ability to collect key data, such as analysis of accident locations. Drones that are equipped with quality cameras can also scan or capture a crash site much faster, cheaper, and more accurately, which can ultimately save lives. Also the cost of using a helicopter is drastically higher than a drone, and after all, to operate a helicopter you must always have a ready pilot to guide you. Therefore, it is extremely important that drone technology continues to evolve to further enhance its capabilities.
Drone Limitations For Emergency Responses
When it comes to drones, we have to be objective and take those downsides also into account. One of the downsides of drones is that they can be very volatile in strong winds and extreme weather, which is because of their small size. In extreme weather, most drones cannot perform the task placed on them with certainty. Technology will need to be further developed to increase the strength and durability of drones in such cases without losing track of the size and construction of the drone.
In the end, we can say that drones will make a significant contribution to saving lives both today and in the future. We also need to consider the quality and the features of the drones, because the more expensive a drone is, the more quality you can expect to get. In this article, we covered mid-range models and professional (modern) models that are available on the market at affordable prices, but also talked about modern drones, whose price is much higher. We see that each drone has certain qualities, such as speed, dimensions, flexibility and technology, and for each one there will be something on this list. If I missed something or want to share my experience, feel free to leave a comment below.