WSRS Episode 4 – Drones 101

Drones have been around in one shape or another since the Wright Brothers first flight. In the early ‘80s drones became a much more common tool used by militaries. Surprisingly recreational drone use has only recently taken off. Many municipalities saw commercial drones has an expensive toy. Initially, the public safety industry viewed drones as a novelty, and a device with a very narrow use, unlikely to be worth its cost. But as the cost of drones has fallen and their versatility has increased, drones are being adopted by municipalities at an exponential rate.

Darley was one of the first companies serving the public safety market to begin offering drones. Darley entered the market by building drones. However, after some deliberation, Darley decided to partner with drone manufacturers. Today, Darley offers drones from a variety of manufacturers and assists departments in getting their drone program up and running.

Drone deployments have gone up as drone costs dropped. Drones are being deployed in search and rescue operations, wildland operations, event management, and fire situational awareness processes. Search and rescue operations drones are used to cover ground quickly and access locations that are difficult to reach. Firefighters have been deploying drones to wildland fires to help them monitor the fires heading and locate areas surrounding the fire that is heating up. First responders are more and more first being used in crowd control scenarios. Drones are used as eyes in the sky to help first responders react quickly to problems. Finally, fire chiefs are using drones to review their deployment of personnel and equipment after a fire scene has been cleared.

Drones more than ever are being used to aid first responders in keeping people safe. If your department wants to set up a drone program contact Mike Mocerino or visit to learn more.