Charles L. Werner. Founder and Director of the DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Alliance, tells all about the Drone as a First Responder Program

The DFR response provides information that helps to increase or decrease priority which ensures that the appropriate resources are responding.  It is clear to see the value of the DFR program through de-escalation, returning units to service more quickly, enhancing safety and protecting the community.

Iain Hoey

Teleoperator pictured in front of computer

Ayana reached out to the Chula Vista Police Department after seeing a video they had posted about their DFR program. He also talked to Flying Lion, the company that provides drone pilots to Chula Vista by contract.

A Flying Lion representative visited Brookhaven and gave a presentation. Where Chula Vista uses those Flying Lion pilots in command in conjunction with a teleoperator that is both a sworn officer and an FAA Part 107 drone pilot, Brookhaven decided to launch a DFR program solely using officers certified as pilots.

Wayne Parham

Flying Lion and Iris Automation add airspace awareness capabilities for Drone as First Responder (DFR) programs

BVLOS operations allow for timely response, situational awareness in advance of personnel on scene

Redondo Beach, CA + Reno, Nevada (March 10, 2023) – Drone service provider, Flying Lion, Inc., and safety avionics technology innovator, Iris Automation have entered into a new partnership to provide Drone as First Responder (DFR) programs with enhanced airspace awareness. This partnership will see the addition of Iris Automation’s Casia G ground-based detect and alert system to the Flying Lion suite of services.

With over 22,000 DFR flights logged to date, Flying Lion has vast experience working closely with leading law enforcement agencies to provide rapid emergency response and aerial assessment through DFR program including for Chula Vista PD, Redondo Beach PD, Santa Monica PD, and Beverly Hills PD.

In order to comply with current FAA requirements, Flying Lion and these DFR programs have been utilizing human remote pilots in command (RPICs) and visual observers (VOs) to allow for BVLOS operations in their cities. While this has been necessary to comply with FAA certificate of authorizations (COAs) for these agencies, it is not optimal for ongoing or large-scale DFR operations. DFR programs enable the immediate dispatch of a drone in response to a 911 call for the purpose of real-time aerial situational awareness, in advance of, and to support ground units to enhance community and first responder safety.

With the implementation of Casia G, the next generation of DFR programs will have the capability to create a volume of surveilled airspace to conduct drone operations without the need for human visual observers. Casia G is a small, passive, low-power, weather-hardened device that can be installed anywhere there is a clear view of the sky. This can be a rooftop, street light pole, cellular tower, or other vertical structure. Casia G detects cooperative aircraft using ADS-B and non-cooperative aircraft using Iris’ patented computer vision and artificial intelligence software. Once an aircraft is detected, two concepts of operation are possible:

1. Casia G alerts the Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC), providing the classification and location of the detected aircraft. The RPIC then initiates an avoidance maneuver and resumes the mission once the detected aircraft is clear of the operational area.

2. Casia G sends an automated collision alert to the uncrewed aerial system’s command software, resulting in the system automatically executing a pre-programmed avoidance maneuver.

Quote from Flying Lion President & Founder, Barry Brennan

“Flying Lion is proud to partner with such a forward-thinking organization as Iris Automation, to provide a safer environment to conduct DFR operations. The Casia G technology for BVLOS drone flights breaks new ground for public safety – it not only saves time and resources but also allows first responders to better protect the communities they serve.”

Multiple Casia G nodes can be deployed to cover any operational area, enabling drones to cover an entire municipality. DFR program managers can then enjoy BVLOS operations of multiple UAS from multiple launch points, enabling minimum response time. In addition, the ability to fly routine BVLOS missions enables the centralized management and operations of the UAS, and integration into 911 dispatch and real-time crime center operations. There are more than 18,000 municipal police departments in the USA, and only 200 of them have access to an aerial asset. BVLOS operation of drones enables the remaining 17,800 departments to not only have access to an aerial asset, but within existing budget constraints – relieving pressure on the human capital in police operations.

Quote from Iris Automation CEO, Jon Damush

“Casia G provides an inexpensive and effective way for customers to take advantage of BVLOS flight through increased airspace awareness without the use of visual observers. The new types of DFR programs are a perfect example, and working with Flying Lion and its incredible work across law enforcement to offer these solutions is an important step.”

Iris Automation and Flying Lion will be exhibiting at the National Public Safety UAS Conference, March 14-15, 2023 in Williamsburg, VA.

About Flying Lion

Flying Lion, Inc. (FLI) is a drone service provider to Law Enforcement, Public Safety Agencies and Municipalities. Founded in 2014, Flying Lion provides on-demand drone air support, training, staffing, and FAA consulting with a specialty in Drone as First Responder (DFR) operations. Flying Lion has conducted over 22,000 DFR missions of which over 10,500 were conducted Beyond Visual Line of Site (BVLOS).

About Iris Automation

Iris Automation is dedicated to creating an aviation environment where no two aircraft ever collide in mid-air. We leverage innovative AI-based vision technology that enables uncrewed and crewed aircraft to mitigate the risk of airborne collisions – vital for safe, scalable, and efficient operations across countless industries. Iris’ onboard and ground-based Casia systems give operators the situational awareness and automation needed to safely navigate an increasingly complex and congested airspace. We work closely with civil aviation authorities globally as they implement regulatory frameworks to advance safety and efficiency in aviation.

Follow us:

LinkedIn: @iris-automation

Twitter: @iris_automation

Flying Lion, Inc. (FLI) was honored to be asked by Magen Am to help support their efforts in keeping this Jewish community in Los Angeles safe during the Purim Holiday celebration yesterday. This is a natural extension of our law enforcement agency support. And a big thank you to our Remote Pilots in Command (RPICs) Lucie and Sam,

Bloomberg published a terrific article on the Beverly Hills Police Department’s Drone as First Responder (DFR) program and mentioned Flying Lion multiple times including quotes from our founder Barry Brennan.

Flying Lion’s Brennan says that, during high-risk traffic stops or pursuits, Hawkeye can peer down into the passenger cabin of a car to see if a suspect has a weapon or is hiding evidence within the car.

“That 34% decrease in property crime was “significant,” “That 34% decrease in property crime was “significant,” Stainbrook told CityLab”

Read the whole article here:

The last and perhaps most promising deployment of drones lies in the Drone as a First Responder (DFR) program, which resulted from an FAA pilot project and began with the Chula Vista Police Department in California. The DFR program launches a drone at the time of 9-1-1 dispatch and is designed to provide eyes on the scene prior to the arrival of ground units. The drone provides invaluable real-time situational awareness by streaming live video to officers before they reach the scene. The Chula Vista drones are flown remotely by teleoperators provided by Flying Lion.

Charles Werner

Flying Lion customer Beverly Hills Police Department was featured in a Los Angeles Times article — that an another ‘eye in the sky’ with expanded drone program.

Read more here:

Aerial view of intersection in Beverly Hills
A view of a Beverly Hills landscape from the police drone “Hawkeye,” which provides aerial support for Beverly Hills Police Department patrols on the ground. (Beverly Hills Police Department)

Kudos to Beverly Hills Police Department who just released the following video with some highlights of “Hawkeye” – their Drone as First Responder UAS.

The BHPD Real Time Watch Center features drones, ALPRs, 24/7 CCTV, and Live911 all used in coordinated operations with our officers on the ground. This video features Hawkeye DFR. We are the future of law enforcement now! – Mark Stainbrook Beverly Hills chief of police
Santa Monica Police Badge ,Beverly Hills Police Badge ,Redondo Beach Police Badge ,Manhattan Beach Police Badge ,

Flying Lion is grateful for many things this past year:
Flying Lion would like to thank our amazing pilot team who take such good care of our customers.
Flying Lion would like to thank our partners for providing the systems that enable us to create true value to our customers.
Flying Lion would like to thank our customers for allowing us to support them as they fulfill their mission statements:
Redondo Beach Police: to forge a partnership with the community to control and prevent crime, improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and to provide outstanding service in accordance with the values of our agency.
Manhattan Beach Police Department: to protect life, property and liberty while providing excellent service and developing problem solving partnerships within the community.
Hermosa Beach Police Department: we exist so Hermosa Beach can be the safest little beach city through partnerships, integrity, and excellent service.
Chula Vista Police Department: in partnership with the Community, is dedicated to providing community policing, with the highest level of professionalism and transparency.
Palos Verdes Estates Police Department: to provide an assurance of safety, comfort and tranquility to the community; while in this endeavor maintaining the utmost in professionalism, competence, integrity, and discipline.
Santa Monica Police Department: we are dedicated to safeguarding our community by improving quality of life and upholding public trust.
Beverly Hills Police Department: Provide professional and proactive services in partnership with our community.
As you can see, the common theme of our customers’ mission statements is to serve their communities — and we are very grateful serving those who serve.

Barry Brennan
President / Founder at Flying Lion, Inc

Barry Brennan at UNC 2020 conference with Police Lieutenant Abrem A. and Anders Martinsen
CEO - UAS Norway ✈️
UAS Noreway
UNC 2022 – Flying Lion President, Barry Brennan joins Lieutenant Abrem Ayana and UAS Norway’s Andres Martinsen onstage to discuss successful Drone as First Responders (DFR) programs.

Our President, Barry Brennan is currently braving a Norwegian snow storm and will be discussing our Drone as First Responders (DFR) operations and operational details at the Unmanned Nordic Conference (UNC 2022) in Kristiansand, Norway.

Flying Lion, Inc. (FLI) is honored to be representing the new DRONERESPONDERS / UAS Norway partnership with Lieutenant Abrem Ayana Thank you Anders Martinsen for the invitation!