Utilizing Drone Technology to Save Lives
Posted by Councilmember Englander on June 23, 2017 at 12:43 PM
This week, the Public Safety Committee unanimously approved of the Los Angeles Fire Department seeking a Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to deploy UAV, or drone, technology in limited emergency circumstances when their use could save lives. As Chair of the Committee, it's my job to ensure our Fire Department is equipped with the best tools and technology to carry out their mission while balancing the public's privacy concerns.
UAVs have tremendous life saving potential. They can be used during structure fires to give firefighters on the ground a critical aerial view for assessing damage, access hard to reach areas, or can be used to deliver critical aid supplies to individuals who are stranded awaiting rescue.
Before any UAVs are deployed, specific guidelines for use will be vetted by the Board of Fire Comissioners and require approval of the Public Safety Committee and City Council. This will ensure that use of UAVs is limited to specific emergency circumstances. The Public Safety committee will provide a public forum to ensure compliance with these parameters.
This action follows a motion I introduced last year directing the Fire Department to begin exploring potential uses of UAVs that could increase Fire Fighter safety or assist in their mission of protecting life and property.