There will be a buzz in the air at this year’s Emergency Services Show thanks to a new feature dedicated to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’). Organisers of the event, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 21-22 September, have partnered with UAV professionals network, SUAS Global, to launch The Drone Zone. As well as showcasing suppliers of UAV technology, The Drone Zone will bring together industry specialists and end-users who will share their knowledge and experience. Risk management, operational safety in both civil and commercial airspace, privacy, security and legislation will all be covered in the free seminar programme.
A recent Sky News report found that two thirds of fire services in the UK and half of police forces are now using – or planning to use – drones. Specialist ambulance crews, or Hazard Area Response Teams (HART), are also expected to be equipped with UAVs this year.* Among the speakers in The Drone Zone’s seminar theatre will be James Grove, Watch Manager, West Midlands Fire Service which has been using drones since 2007. Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service (which has joint use of a drone with Lancashire Police) will also share its experience. Meanwhile the potential of UAVs for aiding situational awareness during fire incidents, missing person searches and flooding will be covered by Séamus Kearns, Head of Operations, Surrey Search & Rescue, and Lee Renwick, Director, HAIS Group who will talk about the application of UAVs in law enforcement and counter terrorism. The Department for Transport and NATS (UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services) will also be presenting sessions.
Other speakers include:
- Steve Coulson, Director, Martek Marine who will explore how drones are going to change emergency service teams of the future and ask whether they will be seen as an enhancement or a threat to the jobs of already stretched teams;
- John Tansley, Managing Director, NoFlyZone who will cover privacy and security issues surrounding the legal and illegal use of UAVs, and examine public perceptions;
- Ricky Huntley, Regional RPAS Advisor, SGS Hart Aviation who will highlight the importance of corporate responsibility and due diligence and demonstrate how human factors considerations are centric to successful drone deployment;
- John Hanslip, Marsh, who will advise delegates on risk transfer and insurance cover.