Drones are changing emergency response in this Pacific Northwest city

For many city leaders, a 60-second emergency response to a house fire, flood or car crash may seem like a dream scenario. Add in the ability to collect video, data or mapping of the scene, and the deal gets even sweeter.

Cities like Bellevue, Washington, are working toward that ideal with the use of unmanned aerial systems, or UAS. For the last few years, the city has piloted emergency drone services using devices from BRINC Drones that provide aerial night and day vision, thermal sensors and live video streaming…

Privacy concerns are usually top of mind for people… To ease concerns, city leaders should prioritize community engagement and clear communication on planned drone use.

Redmond said that residents often see the value once they hear how much information can be gathered — like that drones can give EMS the ability to identify which room a house fire began in or let them know if someone is trapped in a car.

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