Miami Courses Offer UAS Education for First Responders

Miami-based Florida International University’s (FIU) Academy for International Disaster Preparedness has announced two new certificate courses designed to help emergency managers and first responders better understand the role of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in responding to incidents and major disasters.

The UAS/Drone Public Safety Operator Course is a three-day tactical offering taking place on January 29-31. According to FIU, it will provide a basic understanding of the key regulatory, safety and operational factors surrounding drone operations for first responders. The course will include two days of live flight training during which students will learn to operate UAS and execute search-and-rescue operations.

UAS/Drone Operational Management for Disaster Response is a five-day strategic course running Feb. 12-16. FIU says it is designed to assimilate various lessons learned using UAS during recent disasters and emergency response operations. The course will provide emergency management personnel with a comprehensive overview of how drones are spurring innovation in disaster management. A combination of live flight demonstrations and scenario-based, problem-solving exercises will provide students with a thorough understanding of how to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft in response to a major incident.

“Drone technology is reshaping the way first responders manage incidents of all sizes,” comments Ruben Almaguer, executive director of FIU’s Academy for International Disaster Preparedness. “The new course offerings have been designed to help connect the dots for first responders and emergency managers who want to deploy an effective, legal and safe unmanned aviation program within their organization.”

To facilitate the course, FIU will join forces with Airborne Response, a Miami-based UAS services firm whose remote pilots have experience operating drones in a variety of environments, including with manned first responder aircraft, during nighttime operations and with foreign military personnel.

“There is a thirst for knowledge about operating drones during disasters,” says Christopher Todd, president of Airborne Response. “We are excited to partner with FIU and establish these two UAS academic courses for public safety operators and managers both within U.S. and abroad.”

More information on the courses can be found here.


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