Emergency Response

Everybody knows the mantra: ‘In case of an emergency, stay calm.’ For first responders we might add ‘stay calculated.’ As life-threatening fires and traffic accidents progress, it is vital that firefighters and other emergency personnel know how to best respond. That’s where we come in: we fly over.

Avy Aera long range drone

Launch of research pilot with long-range drone in collaboration with the Dutch Police

Avy announces a partnership with the Dutch Police for a pilot-project in which potential drone-applications will be tested, drone flights will take place on a confined non-public airfield, and an ethical framework for this concept of drone-usage by the police will be developed.

The Police plays a central role in the safety and well-being of the general public.Urgency and speed is vital to ensure quality of service conducted by emergency response operators, and drones can have a tremendous impact to facilitate first responders during emergency situations.

A research pilot was launched today, at the Twente Safety Campus, in collaboration with the Dutch Police. Within this pilot, the long-range emergency response UAV developed by Avy will be applied to multiple emergency service use cases. For each use case, feedback will be gathered to improve our technology and gather insights in how our technology can be used for different kinds of emergencies.

Improving communication through situational awareness

While drones can support individual units, the real power from an image from above stems from creating a common understanding of the incident for all stakeholders in the security chain. Dispatch centers, fire brigades, police units and paramedics need to know more about the same incident at the same time and in real-time. This helps with coordination between these units as well as deploying the right number of units, while ensuring safety for the public as well as first responders. Oftentimes dispatch centres need to decide on the number of units to deploy, based on limited information. Real-time video footage strengthens these decisions and therefore the effectiveness of the first response operation.

Through a full network coverage, drones can be instantly deployed from a nearby docking station and arrive at the scene before first responders to support the units on the ground and dispatch centre colleagues with situational awareness to help them assess and address the situation in a coordinated and safe manner. Making these units better prepared for an incident can help with protecting lives and making a positive contribution on neighbourhood liveability in the process.

Researching the role of drones for emergency response

While drones can save lives and support emergency services, a central point of departure as a maker of new technology is to understand the impact of the drones we build as well. Since 2020, Avy has been actively engaged with various safety regions to see how our technology can support during incidents and more specifically, wildfire prevention. Working with the Dutch Police in collaboration with other societal stakeholders makes the perfect next step for studying proportionality, privacy, data security and ethical standards around the application of drones for emergency services. Within this research, for Avy and the Police, it is key to:

  • Involve stakeholders early and engage with the community
  • Create high transparency on the purpose behind UAV deployments whenever this is possible within the application
  • Deploy UAVs proportionately to the application at hand

Next steps

Within the test facility of the Twente Safety Campus, multiple applications of drones for police units will be analysed on costs and benefits for all stakeholders involved. This phase will include extensive testing to gain the right operational experience before bringing the project to the public domain. If you have any questions regarding this project, feel free to contact us via fly@avy.eu.