The Drone Revolution is taking the public-safety world by storm. From police surveillance quadcopters to fixed-wing firefighter craft, UAVs are attracting the attention of public-safety agencies across the globe.
Canadian paramedics are hoping a new drone solution could spell the difference between life and death in first-responder crises. The Renfrew Paramedic Service outside of Ottawa recently launched a drone patrol as a primary response plan across a variety of scenarios: finding lost hikers, life-vest delivery to capsized boaters or hazardous material verification following highway crashes. Renfrew contracted with Indro Robotic and Remote Sensing to provide larger drones to carry life-saving medical equipment to a scene such as a defibrillator or epi-pens.
While it may be an exaggeration to say drones protect democracy, police in India are hoping that a new fleet of UAVs may at least help maintain order during upcoming elections. In the Karnataka region, tempers can easily flare in local elections that largely take place among candidates from a single, well-known family. Police say they will use drones to watch polling stations on Feb. 13 after successfully using them to keep an eye on events leading up candidate filings recently. “It made a lot of difference as it added to the overall ability of police performance,” regional police chief Chetan Singh Rathore said.
The national police force of Fiji is getting drones high in the sky to ensure fewer of their population get high from marijuana. According to the Fiji Times, defense and national security minister Timoci Natuva recently told Parliament that drones can help police sniff out weed cultivation in both urban and rural areas. Apparently, growers tend to move their operations frequently once they get wind of police snooping. By using drones, police can increase their surveillance capability ten-fold, Natuva said.
And if drug lords in Fiji are successful in spiriting their wares outside the island nations, any efforts to import their products into New Zealand may face a new challenge. This week, the military police announced they would eventually replace aging aircraft with drones to support police border patrols. The New Zealand Defence Force’s police arm currently has six P-3K2 Orion aircraft scheduled to be retired over the next decade. Officials say they hope advances in drone technology will allow them to instead deploy drones with longer flight times and range to deter or capture illegal fishing operations as well as drug smugglers. “It is still in the early capability definition phase. Remotely piloted vehicles will be considered as part of the project, along with piloted and space-based systems,” a ministry spokesperson said.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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