Volunteer Drone Disaster Relief Program Completes First Mission

By Mike Ball / 26 Jul 2019
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Axon Air drone

Axon, a developer of connected public safety technologies, has announced the first successful deployment of its new charitable program Axon Aid, which aims to assist cities following large-scale disasters at no cost to citizens. Axon Aid consists of a team of trained Axon volunteers, equipped with drone technology and Axon Fleet 2 vehicles, who deploy before a natural disaster hits. The first pilot program for Axon Aid launched with Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) before Hurricane Barry hit. Axon Aid runs from June through November, which is hurricane season in the U.S.

Following a natural disaster such as flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes, it can be difficult for a city to gain visibility into exactly where the damage has occurred and what fixes are needed to get infrastructure back up and running. The drone technology offered through the Axon Aid program assists officials in quickly gathering situational awareness through Axon’s digital evidence management system, Axon Evidence. Search and rescue efforts, which are often done manually on foot, also benefit. With drone technology, the aerial livestream can help identify victims in need of help and guide first responders to bring aid more quickly.

The Axon Aid deployment process activates when a natural disaster is forecasted. The Axon Aid team, which is completely self-sufficient with food, water, electricity, and sleeping arrangements, immediately deploys to the affected area’s emergency command center.

“Baton Rouge Police and the entire Baton Rouge community are thankful to have Axon’s assistance during Barry’s Tropical Storm,” says Baton Rouge Police Department Chief Murphy Paul. “Over 900 photos that were provided to us by drone imagery before, during and after the storm were very beneficial in helping us track potential problem areas within the parish. We hope to have Axon Aid continued support during emergency situations.”

“We are proud to offer this charitable program and stand hand-in-hand with partner agencies during their most chaotic times,” says Axon CEO and founder Rick Smith. “At Axon, we have the tools to help – and we want to be able to offer those tools when they can be most impactful.”

The Axon Aid volunteers consist of Axon employees across several departments who choose to deploy when an agency calls on Axon Aid for assistance. Collectively, the team brings extensive experience in fire, emergency medical services, drone and emergency response operations.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact