Officers from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, BVI Fire and Rescue Services and other critical departments completed the DARTdrones’ Basic Flight Training for Disaster Response course today.
Instructor Colin Romberger explained that the three-day course included classroom and hands-on training in the use of unmanned flying vehicles, or drones.
Mr. Romberger said “The course covers operating the aircraft, but also understanding the environmental constraints you might encounter out in the field.”
The instructor said drones are ideal for responding to a disaster mainly because of their search and rescue applications.
“After a disaster, your first priority is saving lives. Drones are a valuable tool in the search and rescue process because they allow you to search a large area quickly, even in challenging terrain,” Mr. Romberger said, adding that particularly with mechanisms such as temperature-sensitive cameras, drones greatly enhance any search and rescue operations.
He further added that aside from search and rescue, drones are well suited to rapid assessments necessary to create recovery plans.
“You can use this equipment to survey a broad area and then piece together maps to document the damage in each community, or to take a close look at specific components such as power generators,” he said.
Drone components and the requisite training were funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of the UK’s efforts to build the Overseas Territories’ capacity to respond to emergencies. The training also included participants from Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands.