Blue Light Drones: from niche to mainstream

Drones are taking their place as one of a handful of technologies defining our futures. A recent PWC report highlighted that increased drone adoption across the economy could increase UK GDP by £42 billion (or 2%) by 2030.

The market for drones is rapidly developing with new user cases emerging all the time. Of all the various user cases, perhaps the easiest one to make and win public support for is emergency services using drone technology to save lives and improve public safety.

Across the blue lights agencies there are already a handful of examples of drone use for public safety. So the real issue is how UK emergency services can take drone use from small pockets of use by a few agencies, to becoming a regular feature in incident response, making drones business as usual for blue-lights services.

This event is designed to try and bridge that gap, allowing industry and end-users the chance to share best practice and lessons about what works. We will explore what made successful projects work, barriers to adoption (cost, policy, skills) what lessons were learned along the way, and how operational staff can drive the drone agenda within their organisation.

As well as addressing the technology and the operational case, we will look at how to make the business case, where drones responsibility sits in different agencies, and the different requirements and issues for rural and urban use. Crucially, speakers will explore what industry can do to help blue lights agencies make the case for drones.


10:00 - 10:20 Registration and networking

10:20 - 10:30 Scene setting and introductions - Julian McGougan, techUK

10:30 - 10:45 Keynote presentation - The drone opportunity for emergency services - Vincent Rishir, DJI

10:45 - 12:00 Panel - The operational case for drones and best practice

This panel will discuss the how and why drones are and will be a vital tool for law enforcement, emergency services and first responders. This panel will look at what has worked, the impact they have had among the services, examines best practice, need for training and future user cases.

  • Andy Trevan, Chair, Metropolitcan Police Flying Club
  • Inspector Ed Delderfield, Drone Unit Lead, Lincolnshire Police
  • Hannah Nobbs, Innovation Scout, RNLI
  • Chris Rainford, Lancashire Fire and Rescue
  • Ben Sullivan, Metropolitan Police Service

12:00 - 12:15 Break

12:15 - 12:30 Keynote presentation - How drones saved a life - Chris Rainford, Lancashire Fire and Rescue

12:30 - 12:45 Keynote Presentation - Real time streaming of secure, resilient data from drones to mobile devices - Peter Morton, Tactical Wireless

12:45 - 12:55 Interoperability of systems (WebVMT) - Rob Smith, Away Team

12:55 - 13:00 Wrap up and next steps - Julian McGougan, techUK

13:00 - 14:00 Networking lunch

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