Skydio donates US-made drones to first responders across the country

Skydio Inc. supports first responders and frontline medical workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, facilitates delivery of one million pieces of PPE and donates U.S.-made drones to first responders across the country.

Skydio Inc. today announced two initiatives to support America’s first responders with drones and personal protection equipment. The first initiative, the Skydio Emergency Response Program (ERP), will donate dozens of Skydio 2 drones and associated equipment to public safety agencies across the country. Skydio’s in-house experts will also provide training and support at no cost to participating agencies. Skydio had planned to release the ERP to assist with disaster relief later this year, but decided to make the program available immediately to meet the needs of public safety agencies facing an unprecedented pandemic.

“As an American company that manufactures its products in the United States, Skydio strongly supports first responders who stare down danger every day to protect the public from the full range of threats, including COVID-19,” said Fritz Reber, Skydio’s Head of Public Safety Integration and a 27 year veteran of the Chula Vista police department and former SWAT team leader. “We know the value that drones provide to public safety. Although fully hand-flown drones are helpful, drones with advanced autonomy features provide exceptional value, allowing officers to fly without fear of crashing into objects while enhancing situational awareness. With the rapid spread of COVID19, public safety agencies now face unprecedented challenges, and we want to do our part to support those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us all.”

The ERP has already donated Skydio drones to multiple agencies, and plans to partner with dozens of additional agencies in the weeks ahead. Skydio and its public safety partners are firmly committed to protecting privacy and civil liberties. The Skydio 2 drones donated through the ERP do not carry speakers and cannot be used to issue instructions from the sky and are not intended to be used for any type of quarantine enforcement. Instead, Skydio drones provide immediate tactical support for fire and police professionals, enabling them to safely gain close-up situational awareness using Skydio’s unique advanced collision avoidance technology — reducing risk to first responders and rapidly gaining useful information that could save lives. Agencies interested in the program should contact [email protected] to receive additional information and a link to the ERP application.

Skydio also announced today that it has facilitated the delivery of more than one million pieces of medical personal protection equipment (PPE) that was sourced and secured by Frontline Support, a nonprofit started and staffed by Silicon Valley based volunteers, to healthcare workers responding to the current COVID-19 crisis. The equipment was delivered to the University of Washington Hospital System, and consists of medical grade masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields, sourced from all over the world. Frontline Support was created with the express purpose of helping source, vet, provide quality assurance for, and distribute personal protective equipment for emergency workers in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Skydio’s efforts are led by Phuong Huynh, Head of Logistics and Business Systems, and the company’s contribution to the Frontline Support effort includes logistics planning and implementation, import, storage, shipping and distribution at Skydio’s expense and on Skydio’s accounts at distribution centers, allowing for expedited distribution and delivery of these critically needed materials.

“This is an ‘all hands on deck’ moment for companies in the US and all over the world to contribute whatever we can to help our healthcare workers and first responders,” said Adam Bry, Co-Founder and CEO of Skydio. “We’re happy to provide Frontline Support with our technical and supply chain resources and to show our nation’s first responders that we have their backs by providing free drones and PPE during this crucial period.”

Skydio is not the only drone company that makes drones available to first responders. Previously, DJI provided 100 drones to local law enforcement agencies around the country as part of the DJI US Disaster Relief Program.

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Haye Kesteloo

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