As you may have seen, this past week DRONERESPONDERS announced a expansion of the project originally started by Brandon Karr to expand the mapping of public safety UAS programs across the U.S. and around the world. Within the first few days of this project we have already registered 260 programs and the number continues to grow. For those program managers and leaders who have already registered your program please accept our thanks and appreciation for you support.
We have also received several questions from people who want to more details about this program. For the greater good of the public safety UAS community and in the spirt of full transparency I am going to answer those questions here:
1) Q: Does Brandon Karr now work for DRONERESPONDERS?
A: No, Brandon Karr is volunteering his time in support of this mission with DRONERESPONDERS. DRONERESPONDERS is a non-profit program of AIRT, a 501(c)3 organization which has received the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency from 2018 - Present.
2) Q: Will the public safety UAS community be able to view the map and access the data?
A: Yes, the map will be available for view by the public safety UAS community and the general public. Specific information such as mobile phone and email my be restricted from public view. DRONERESPONDERS will connect public safety organizations with other organization upon request as needed when contact information is not available. Additionally, a map Dashboard will allow for filtering by state, discipline and more.
3) Q: What partners did DRONERESPONDERS work with in launching this project?
A: AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS worked with several partners to launch this project including FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate, the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation, Esri, and the NASA Ames Research Institute.
4) Q: What is IRIS?
A: The Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) is a “no cost” resource inventory tool provided by FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate to help emergency managers identify potential resources that can used for incident response. This is the tool that AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS were asked to use for developing a directory of UAS resources across the U.S. based on current FEMA typing.
5) Q: Isn’t the FEMA resource typing for UAS resources outdated?
A: AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS were advised to use the current UAS resource typing as published by FEMA for (a) Unmanned Aircraft Systems Team (2-508-1246) and (b) Technical Specialist - Unmanned Aircraft System (2-509-1382). This guidance was provided to us directly from FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate.
6) Q: Don’t most emergency managers use the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for coordinating mutual aid?
A: According to FEMA documentation, both IRIS and EMACs are tools offered to emergency managers for the identification of potential resources for incident response. Certain jurisdictions may prefer to use one tool over the other. Both IRIS and EMACs are official tools offered by FEMA. Also keep in mind this can be used as a resource tool for mutual aid as well and it may be used by departments that do not have UAS programs to make automatic/mutual aid agreements for more routine types of incidents that do not rise to the need of state/federal resources.
7) Where can I submit my organizations information to participate in the global map?
8.) Q: Who can we contact with additional questions about this program?
A: Brandon Karr is the program manager for this project and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org