First Responder Drone Initiatives

By Steve King, Ph.D. , Brian M. Dorow

MITRE partners with police and fire associations, federal agencies, city fire and police departments, county sheriff’s offices, and academia across the country to create drone forces specifically tailored for first responders.

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The First Responder Drone Initiatives program comprises five initiatives that benefit and prioritize safety measures, including:

  1. Designing drones that identify and locate persons of interest (e.g., bad actors or missing persons)
  2. Providing a standard for drone training specific to first responder needs
  3. Building a tool to help the user identify “best fit” drones on the market
  4. Providing technical analysis on available commercial drones
  5. Inventing a drone adapter that incorporates HazMat detection equipment

MITRE has assembled a team of uniquely qualified subject matter experts to identify, assess, and test the resilience of the recommended drones to provide first responders with the most accurate information. The team designed a hands-on approach to help build user confidence in the program.

Although drones can be used by first responders in myriad ways, MITRE has chosen to initially focus on the five initiatives introduced in this paper.

MITRE is confident the initiatives prioritized in this program will ease the demands on first responder communities while increasing the safety of the citizens they serve, and first responders themselves.