Image: A drone locates hot spots during fire training (EENA/DJI)
The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) has announced that it is working with UAV-maker DJI to look for ways to integrate the use of drones into first-response missions. Based in Belgium, EENA is a non-governmental organisation that serves as a discussion platform for emergency services, public authorities and researchers to transfer knowledge and best practice to better serve the needs of the public.
The one-year joint DJI-EENA programme is intended to provide selected teams of pilots in Europe with aerial-technology equipment including UAVs with thermal-imaging systems. The teams will receive intensive hands-on training, support and guidance on application-development using DJI’s software development kit. The partners said that at the end of the programme, they will share insights and best practices with the international emergency-response community to promote the safe integration of drones in emergency situations.
Greater Copenhagen Fire Department in Denmark and the Donegal Mountain Rescue Team in Ireland have been selected as the first two test sites. In Denmark, the focus will be on drone applications for firefighting, chemical accidents and larger car accidents in urban and over-water environments. The team in Ireland is already using software applications through DJI’s software development kit to co-ordinate search and rescue missions in remote areas, and the focus will be to improve real-time networking techniques and crowd-sourcing capabilities.
Speaking for EENA, deputy executive director Tony O’Brien said: “EENA has a unique position to observe how aerial technology has been – and has the potential to be – implemented to support first-responder services. With this programme, we seek to better understand how challenges in terms of logistics and data-analysis and integration can be overcome to fully realise the benefits of drones in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations.”
Organisations can apply to join the DJI-EENA programme via http://www.eena.org/pages/dji-eena#.VweDoXrLn9A.