Skyfire Helps Launch First-of-Its-Kind Joint Drone First Responder Program in Fremont, CA

Skyfire Consulting (Skyfire), the most trusted and experienced public safety UAS consulting group, today announced its collaboration with the Fremont, California Fire and Police Departments to launch the first-of-its-kind joint Drone First Responder (DFR) program in the United States. The program, approved by the Fremont City Council on February 13, 2024, has leveraged Skyfire’s expertise in consulting, community engagement, regulatory support (Beyond Visual Line of Site ‘BVLOS’ waiver), and training to enhance public safety and emergency response times.

Fremont DFR Program: Enhancing Situational Awareness and Response

The Fremont DFR program utilizes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) launched from fixed locations to rapidly respond to public safety incidents. These UAVs, piloted by certified professionals, arrive on-scene ahead of first responders, providing critical real-time situational awareness through live-streamed video. This information empowers responders to make better decisions, de-escalate situations when possible, and identify potential hazards and rescues.

“Skyfire is honored to support Fremont in launching this historic DFR program,” said Matt Sloane, Skyfire founder and CEO. “Our team’s deep experience and commitment to public safety were instrumental in bringing this program to life, and we are confident it will serve the Fremont community well.”

Community Support and Pilot Program Success

With strong community backing, the Fremont Police and Fire Departments conducted a successful pilot program from November 2022 to January 2023. The program, which deployed UAVs from strategic locations like Parkway Towers, demonstrated the value of DFR in enhancing public safety, reducing response times, and ensuring first responder safety.

Expanding DFR Reach with Washington Hospital Healthcare System

The Fremont DFR program is further bolstered by a partnership with Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS). Later this month, WHHS will host UAV launches from its rooftop location on Mowry Avenue, expanding the program’s reach and response capabilities within the community.

“We’re proud to work with Skyfire to launch this groundbreaking DFR program,” said Jeff Kleven Battalion Chief, Fremont Fire Department. “This program has the potential to save lives and make our community safer, and Skyfire’s expertise has been invaluable in getting us to this point.”

Skyfire’s Proven Track Record in DFR

Skyfire brings a decade of experience to the Fremont DFR program, having supported hundreds of public safety drone programs across the country. In 2019, Skyfire became the first consultancy to help obtain FAA approval for the nation’s first active emergency response Certificate of Authorization (COA) with a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) provision for public safety. This achievement, working alongside the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) with support from the City of San Diego, demonstrates Skyfire’s commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of drone technology for public good.

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