Saving the saviors
Drones also help ensure the safety of first responders by providing situational awareness in a variety of emergencies — like fire response, HAZMAT scenarios, and natural disasters. They also allow responders to make safer, more informed decisions when tackling life-threatening scenarios.
In the report, DJI admits it’s “impossible to document the number of emergency responders who avoid injury thanks to drone technology,” but that the use of drones does offer a new safety precaution for first responders.
For those within the emergency response community, this comes as no surprise. Garret Bryl, a volunteer firefighter and drone operator who has flown drones in support of fire and police departments
, explained that this awareness is always his first priority. “Whenever I show up, the very first thing I do is find the incident commander and offer my help to him,” Bryl said.
He went on to say, “Any department that doesn’t have [a drone] is kind of neglecting their duties.”
Strict regulation could cost lives
DJI asserts that blanket restrictions on operations only hurt the lifesaving potential of drone tech. While such regulations are often driven by safety concerns, this report shows that drones have a significant potential to improve
“Regulations that make it more challenging or burdensome to use drone technology as tools to help save lives represent a net detriment
to public safety,” according to the report.
Rather than focusing on blanket restrictions like altitude
and night operation limits, DJI urges regulation that focuses on specific safety concerns. And based on the report, DJI views Part 107
as a “much more reasonable path for rescuers … to learn the requirements for safe and responsible flight.”
Based on its research, DJI stated that “rigorous restrictions and impediments to drone use, often proposed in the name of safety, can be expected to cost lives
The report concludes that "drones are regularly saving lives around the world." However, DJI admits that since its research method excludes the reports in which drones indirectly helped save lives, this report likely underrepresents the number of times drones have actually helped save lives. That’s right, drones have probably helped save far more than 59 people.
Read the full report here.