How to Be an Asset to Local Governments as a Drone Pilot for Emergency & Natural Disaster Situation


You’Re listening to the ask of droney podcast, you ask we answer your drone questions, whether you’re here to turn your passion into profit, and you simply fly for fun: we’re a community of wares and teachers who aspire to achieve greatness. We are hey. Everyone welcome to another fun episode of ask Drona you. My name is Paul and my name is Rob and we hope most certainly that it’s fun and that all starts with you guys and your questions. So thank you for sending them in this is episode number 1027.

I’M still getting used to saying 1000 and it’s pretty cool thanks for spending a few day or a few days. Many of you have spent a few days a few minutes of your day with us. Yeah greatly appreciate it. We’Re excited about today’s episode because I’m not going to be distracted at all and we are excited to discuss a very important issue, which is: how do you create relationships or where do you go as a centralized unit for search and rescue missions? There are a lot of groups out there and, frankly, I’m not really sure if we have the answer to this other than just the age-old adage of I’ve.

I know what has worked from experience and I think that this is one of those takes, because you know there’s a new group that we wanted to get on. This show that’s focused around search and rescue drones. In fact, I think that was a group again that PJ was a was a part of. But how do you link those groups with local agencies and how are those groups working with local local agencies to be known because there have been other companies? In fact, we had to differentiate ourselves from our particular company during Hurricane Harvey, because that particular company had a name that was spelled similar to the ours and they were.

You know saying that they had permission to fly and do things in TFRs and they didn’t and they were using people’s footage and and like literally stealing people’s footage and using it. And it’s just one of those things that you know you can once again cause more harm than good we’ve done, shows on responding to hurricanes and luckily we’re in one of the slowest hurricane seasons since 1982, which is fantastic. But what happens when disaster strikes your area? Who do you call what group are you a part of? What do you do?

How can you position yourself to be an asset as opposed to a liability which we talked about before? Yes, because again we really it’s not a fine line by the way. It’S a pretty old line, yeah, not a fine line at all. What I will say, though, that I think is extremely important. Is that no matter what you do to set yourself up with groups, you need to remember the fundamentals of doing any search-and-rescue, work whatsoever or working with governments whatsoever which rule number one.

Is you always work with chain of command, so you always have to figure out who’s in charge, who’s running it? How do you work with chain of command because, yes, it may be difficult and yes, there may be a lot of red tape, but oftentimes you need to work with chain of command. So in this show, I’m also just going to reiterate really quick, some of the classes and whatnot that you should be aware of some of the piloting stuff that you should be aware of when it comes to search-and-rescue. This particular show is focused about how do you build relationships and essentially become, like I said, an asset for your local governments, so we’re gon na focus on that. But in anytime we do a search and rescue show.

As you know, because we are about to launch a search-and-rescue class, this is something that’s really really near and dear to my heart, because I feel like you know, drones are one of those tools that can be used for good or bad, but if you don’t know What you’re doing the chances are is you could actually like cause more harm than good? So I think it’s really important to kind of discuss these things Rob so morning. This is Brad from sunny Florida along the Gulf Coast, guys I’ve learned so much from your podcasting videos and thank you for the great content I’d like to volunteer my drone in services to my local government, such as search and rescue or Disaster Response. You know living along the coast with storms and boating accidents and such so. My question is: how do you find out who, what and where to contact I’ve asked, and I have searched the net and can’t find anywhere anywhere to volunteer.

I just hear good ideas, but nothing else not sure why, with all the media about the good and the bad drones that communities and cities would love to, have people volunteer their equipment services to enhance these services? I’M a certified pilot, insured, nearing retirement and would like to use my extra time servicing training or teaching others. Yes, I have taken some of your online courses and been very beneficial thanks again for what you do for all the drone pilots around the world. Thank You Brad. I appreciate the perspective.

There’S too many people. I think that go about this in the wrong way, and that is they think they’re helping by just going out and seeing literally people show up on scene and think that they’re gon na help right and ultimately they end up getting in the way. And one of the things that comes to my mind is that it’s going to take somebody, so we can get people contact, information or ideas on where to go groups to be a part of it cetera. But you always talk about working with the command center. The the chain of command, as it relates to these scenarios, and it’s going to take time for these folks to learn to trust you and so typically, what I’ve seen with our members and so forth have been involved in this kind of work.

This kind of volunteer work in particular is they get asked right? They get a call from someone that knows them because of their reputation, and I’m not saying this to discourage you Brad, but just know it could take some time. I think it’s cool that you have sort of built up the background and you’re you’re ready to go, use your services to help people yeah. I mean first things. First, internet tells me that, like if he really wants to if he wants to make relationships, what do you do when you make relationships you you want to show people what you can do and if you can’t show people what you can do and then you Have a significant problem, so I think first things first, is that I think that this guy needs to make a very good presentation of why he as a drone pilot in his local area.

So you need to write an article for your on why you believe drones can help in search and rescue about doing things systematically about doing ortho mosaics for disaster reconstruction to have a better idea of homes. That may need help and whatnot, and I would give examples of what you know: don’t talk about what you don’t know, because you could end up hurting yourself significantly with. That said, sorry, I just like I’m thinking about how would I do this right sure, because we just recently did this with a local New Mexico group, and I was like I don’t want to be. A part of your group, like literally, was like no thank you because you know they just they don’t understand the potential problems that they could be causing. So I had to immediately remove myself from that group and I think it’s important that we talk about.

If you should be a part of a group or what you should do so for me right now, I’m talking about my personal opinion. What do I think you should do? I think you should write an article about search and rescue include the name of your area. Ways that you believe it can help and how to contact you in in the form of an emergency. It’S probably not a contact form or an email, give them a phone number and a way to reach out to you directly.

But then I would use some sort of CAPTCHA form to make sure that people aren’t just getting your phone number for egregious use. Now that being said from there, I would be reaching out. I would find out from the newspaper, go read all the old newspaper articles about disasters that happen in your area, who was in charge? Who was making the call? Who like do some investigative work, like figure out what branch of the government was in charge?

Who was in charge of that particular branch and what is the typical formulation of the chain of command from there? Because for me, I’m sure the local city is going to have the governor or the mayor or the chief of police? And I think it’s really important. That yeah, you want to write emails to those people and like open up the door and say look you’re really interested in getting to know more and more about who to work with with search and rescue. You believe that there’s a lot of benefits for using drones when disasters happen and that you believe you can provide a solution.

I think also may be important in your little article to talk about ways that drones and this could just be the whole article itself, but ways that drones are used for search and rescue and how it doesn’t work, because that could actually you know if you, if You’Re not coming from a place of knowledge that could actually be a great topic for you to discuss without looking stupid, but then utilize that send that in an email to local government officials, the Chief of Police, this that and the other they’re gon na get spammed With stuff like this all the time, so you need to go out to networking events get to know these people work with these people figure out who who is in charge of their disaster relief program when emergency strikes? What are their typical of standard operating procedures? Do they have meetings on this every year? I’M sure every government has some sort of committee meeting. That’S talking about like let’s go over our emergency procedures again, because hurricane season is coming up like.

I know this happened yeah if you can be a part of those meetings. I think that that’s so crucial, but you need to not be sales focused. You need to be focused on doing the right thing, working with the right people and being an asset, and if they decide not to use you, then they shouldn’t use you, but also in that article I would include the benefits of hiring local drone pilots rather than Drone pilots coming in from all over the world like, for example, again during hurricane Harvey. You know you had if there were even some of our students that I unfriended from Facebook because they said that they were going to hurricane Harvey and it’s like it’s like guys. You’Re killing me, there are hotel rooms, like people have nowhere to go, and there are hotel rooms being used by media conglomerates and all their interns and they’re people that should be used for people who need a place to stay and live there that have nowhere to Go sure so that type of stuff really gets under my skin, because you know we all want to help.

We all want to be helpful and you know yeah we’re making an effort so we’re doing a good job. I had to talk to my wife about this. The other day because, like literally our cat, got almost like strangled by a kitty toy, and I was in there like trying to help it and she comes in and she just pulls the cat, which made the whole thing worse and I had to say like sometimes You got ta like like trust me like. I got a working chain of command yeah. Oh yes, yeah!

Try! Having that conversation Rob I didn’t mean it that way. I really didn’t. I meant in that moment commanding the situation, but but when I had this conversation with Sarah um, when I had this conversation with Sarah, she was like no. I am NOT in the wrong and I’m like I’m not saying you’re in the wrong, I’m trying to say if you actually want to do the right thing and help people you need to think it through.

You can’t just react and you know everyone lives. We live in such an emotional society now, and everyone just reacts and they do what they want to do to make themselves feel good, but the people who are truly successful are thinking. What’S the third move, the fifth move, the ten move like what what’s going to happen down the line, if I do X, Y & Z, and they take it as a game of chess? Yes, I say I need to say no more. No, no!

No! Please Kerry! Literally no you’re, right though no, but it is, it really is. There was a study at UNM when I got my criminology degree and they said one of the most successful programs that they ever had in reshaping inmates lives and making them better. People for society was literally teaching them chess and teaching them that chess taught them how to think about what is going to be the consequence of their action if they go down that line.

What’S the next action? Are there other actions that could maybe have a similar effect, but won’t have a negative like consequence down the line, it was fundamentally yeah, I loved it. It was just so powerful when you change the perspective of thought, where it’s not necessarily about the content, but rather the context and that context shift had an amazing amazing transformation for inmates. You know we always say people can’t be re. What is it called?

Rehabilitation ability – and I think that there are some people that really can’t be, but I think the vast majority of people can be if they are taught how to think – and I think that that is something that is so deprived in this damn society. And it makes me so angry because everyone just reacts, people listen to respond. People do things to be right, people do things to serve their ego, they don’t think about. If I actually really want the best for myself on this person, I need to slow the hell down right now. Think about what I’m saying and what effect is that going to have here here it’s been a hard one for me, Rob so I’m working through this myself, okay, well you’re, right in saying that most people I’d, say the vast majority of people that are showing up To these scenes, for example, they really do want to help.

I think that most of them have altruistic motives, but you know, obviously there are those that are there for their own glory or whatever, but unfortunately it does more harm than good. In most cases, it couldn’t exist the reality, but hopefully we’ve given Brad some ideas of where to go, and I really like the idea of getting with your because you even mentioned Brad, specifically your local government, and so things like just be aware of the City Council. Your county boards, all of those kinds of folks in the particularly in Florida like Paul, said they’re having a lot of conversations about this stuff that you can be a part of, and you know, listen in for a while see, what’s important to them, see what they’re Working on and then incorporate some of those things in articles that you’re, writing, etc, and so and be patient and work. The system and and you’ll be helping out in no time, hopefully yeah. I think that also the you know, there’s a really good point to is so many people join groups for search and rescue and those groups always try to send people to events.

I think that there could be so much value in like a Facebook group or something where local government can go in and say we need five drone pilots. You know you have to meet some sort of basic qualifications like you have you’ve had a hundred hours. You’Ve gone through some sort of search and rescue training and then we’re able to work with you yeah. Of course you know, there’s an infrastructure challenge there of proving it, and especially when they need pilots quickly. In that infrastructure, I don’t think exists yet in terms of training that you’re referring to, but it’s probably think so.

I hope it’s coming. I don’t think so either we are working people enough. I know one of our. I know one of our competitors has a class for it, but it’s just it’s not it’s not helping our industry at all. It’S not something.

That’S actually providing useable, actionable data. That’S going to save people’s lives. If anything, it’s just causing confusion by people who really don’t know what the hell they’re doing in it. It boils my blood Robin I’ve learned. I’Ve had to learn how to like, not say people’s names and who it is, and why and it’s like look, I understand you have good intentions, but there’s no reason for me to berate your good intentions and be pedantic.

Rather, we just need to release information that I think solves the problem. So what we’re gon na do sounds great on that bombshell. That’S gon na do it for us today. My name is Paul. My name’s Rob this is ask drown.

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