The benefits of drones in the public sector

The benefits of drones in the public sector

23 October 2019 By Laura Megson - Assistant Category Buyer, Emergency Services and Blue Light

drone being used on building site

There are no real surprises when it comes to the development of technology these days, but it is always interesting to know how this technology is used in our day to day society.

Drones, which have soared in popularity over recent years, are more commonly used as a hobby toy for younger generations but what most of us don’t realise is that these cutting edge flying machines are an extremely valuable asset to the public sector.

How can public sector services benefit from the use of drones?

Drones can support cost elements to departments that deal in areas of infrastructure, for example the latest drones can easily reach structural heights in minutes that would otherwise require scaffolding which is time consuming to erect and requires safety equipment checks. Drones are also fitted with a high-resolution camera which can capture vital images of structural damage to builds and bridges. The video capture and aerial footage minimizes disruption and can assess the damage much quicker, which aids in effective and efficient processes. They not only make the job easier, they also support the welfare of public sector employees as they can gain access to areas of contamination such as water ways and sewers where health and safety protective wear would need to be worn.

Both military operations and emergency services teams utilise drones, a key example being search and rescue teams, who rely on such technology to view accidents from obscure angles which are otherwise unachievable. Having access to aerial images enables rescue teams to assess each unique situation and plan a safe rescue. Take a look at our top 10 animal rescues blog to see some of the weird and wonderful rescues our fire services face regularly.  

The fire department also use drones to assess the spread of fires on large scale buildings which would be impossible to see from the ground or with the use of other general equipment. Drones are a vital eye in the sky, and when fitted with thermal imaging cameras, police can track people who are attempting to escape custody as the camera drones can pick up heat signatures when someone is hiding in undergrowth. Much to the dismay of wrongdoers, drones are also used as surveillance in many other areas of policing.

As exciting as all that sounds this is only a handful of examples that highlight the importance of the development of technology and how drones support public services!

Exciting times ahead for the YPO Emergency Services and Blue Light team

We (YPO) was approached by the Home Office earlier this year to discuss a gap in public procurement. Naturally we are very excited to be working with the Home Office and on a framework that incorporates drone technology, but we are also really pleased to be working closely with the Police and Fire & Rescue teams. After much discussion and healthy deliberation, a lot structure has been agreed which is believed to be fit for purpose for all public sector organisations (not just police and fire). The group that’s involved in creating the framework has a wide knowledge base, this coupled with different personal requirements is what will make the framework a benefit to emergency services and the wider public sector.  

The new national framework will support the Emergency Services and other public sector bodies in the purchase of drones and associated products and services.

If you enjoyed this blog and would like to read another, head to our emergency services blog page. 

If you would like to find out more information about the development of our new framework, please contact Laura Megson at [email protected]

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