SkyFire Holding Another Drone Conference for First Responders

Matt Sloane and Ben Kroll, founders of Skyfire Consulting

SkyFire Consulting’s second annual SkyfireConference for public safety drone operators will kick off in Burnet, Texas, on Feb. 28-March 2.

The conference – focused on training firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders to use drone technology – will include a live-fire burn to demonstrate best practices for fire response.

“We are lucky enough to be hosting the conference at Reveille Peak Ranch this year,” comments Matt Sloane, CEO of Skyfire Consulting. “This 1,300-acre property allows us to do things we can’t do in an urban or suburban setting – like burning a structure down.”

In addition, responders will train on simulated accident scenes. They will ulse drones to map out areas for evidentiary purposes and conduct search-and-rescue scenarios to find lost hikers.

“These tools can be used in so many different ways,” continues Sloane. “This is a chance for the people using the technology to practice all of it in one place.”

Verizon will also be on-site to debut the newest addition to its response fleet called Response Innovation.

“This technology enables an agency to expand its response fleet with highly specialized capabilities – off-road vehicles that can deliver emergency communications, autonomous vehicles that deliver medical supplies, and a 4D visualization software that provides a common operating picture between private-sector and government agencies,” says Vol Montgomery, Reveille Peak’s owner, who will be hosting the Verizon team.

The conference will also feature classroom sessions, including a presentation from Tim Herlocker, former director of the emergency operations center for the New York City Fire Department, and the man responsible for the department’s drone program, says SkyFire.

“Small drones have become a critical tool for first responders,” says Herlocker. “Their safe and professional operation can help save lives and protect property. Training and collaboration is the key, and I look forward to attending the Skyfire training conference both to speak and to learn from colleagues.”

Herlocker, now a senior advisor for Hoverfly Technologies, will also sit on a panel with Rob Topping, Hoverfly’s CEO, and Sloane to discuss how tethered drones are being used for emergency response.

Additional speakers will include Coitt Kessler, program manager for the Austin Fire Department’s Robotic Emergency Deployment Team, who will discuss drone use during Hurricane Harvey; Gene Robinson and John Buell from DronePilot, who will share best practices from their decades of search-and-rescue experience ; and Jon Wickersham, the emergency response program manager for Colonial Pipeline, talking about how drones are used to help industry and first responders deal with pipeline emergencies.

Rounding out the presenters is Trooper Michael Darrow from Michigan State Police’s aviation wing, who will share his experience with large-scale accident scene mapping using drones, along with several other first responders.

More information can be found here . [Click for More]