McAuliffe welcomes unmanned aircraft systems public safety conference

unmanned aircraft dronesPiedmont Virginia Community College and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is hosting the 2017 National Public Safety UAS Conference at Roseland Farms in Crozet.

The conference will bring together professionals in law enforcement, public safety, search and rescue, emergency services and disaster relief to share best practices and discuss legal and operational challenges associated with using the small aircraft in emergency preparedness and response operations.

“Virginia is proud to host this important event to enhance public safety efforts through the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drones,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “The Commonwealth’s public safety agencies continue to use the latest technology to enhance their efforts to keep our citizens safe. This conference will allow them to share the best practices around this emerging technology.”

“This symposium is the first of its kind in Virginia to speak directly to emergency service and public safety professionals,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “It will provide a unique opportunity for public safety professionals to discuss ways drones can be a vital operational tool during emergency response and recovery efforts.”

“Virginia is committed to coordinating its response across all public safety agencies statewide and working together to deploy state-of-the-art tools to enhance our Commonwealth’s resiliency,” said State Coordinator of Emergency Management Dr. Jeff Stern. “VDEM is proud to co-host this symposium to help participants understand how drones can be used to enhance situational awareness and coordinate activities among all agencies responding to a particular event.”

The three-day summit will include a series of workshops, breakout sessions, networking events, and a full day dedicated to scenario demonstrations and trainings. Presenters will include representatives from the National Association for Search and Rescue, the Center for Robotic-Assisted Search and Rescue, the National Weather Service, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Florida State University’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, along with several UAS technology companies.

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