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Manatee county is only a few approvals away from becoming the first county in the nation to use drones to assist 911 during an incident.

Use of drones to assist 911 explored by Manatee County officials

Manatee County in Florida could be breaking new ground for the drone industry with a new type of emergency response that involves the use of unmanned aircraft. The county is only a few approvals away from becoming the first county in the nation to use drones to assist 911 during an incident.

Use of drones to assist 911 explored by Manatee County officials

The new drone technology would not take the place of emergency personnel. The hope is that with the use of drones, assistance can be provided much faster and therefore save more lives.

Manatee County is considering the use of a self-flying drone that is specifically designed for emergency situations. At the direction of a 911 operator, the unmanned aircraft would be dispatched and could be used to deliver things like an AED, a tourniquet, or Narcan, as well as instructions on how to use these devices. The 911 operator would stay on the line to explain to the caller how to use the medical instruments, Fox 13 reports.

The company behind this idea is Archer First Response Systems, LLC. They believe that a drone can get to the scene of an accident faster than emergency personnel in an ambulance. Delivering medical assistance to a person quickly can make the difference between life or death. For example, somebody who is experiencing a cardiac arrest could be helped much sooner and potentially saved if a drone could deliver the AED.

Using drones to assist 911 incident calls is at this point still a pilot program and there are many logistical issues that need to be worked out. However, Manatee County gave the test program their stamp of approval last Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still needs to review the program and give their approval as well.

Once the FAA approves it the county can move forward with the drone pilot program. If and when that happens Manatee County would be one of the first counties in the nation to use drones to support 911 incident calls.

Here you can read more stories about drones being used for good and to save people’s lives.

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Haye Kesteloo

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