Drones Deploy to 911 Calls

Drones Deploy to 911 Calls

A neighborhood in Houston is turning to drones to augment their first responders, with a drone that is deployed to certain events after a 911 call is received.

Thanks to a private-public partnership with new startup Paladin Drones, the latest way of responding to certain calls — including home alarms being set off and accidents — is by air and within a matter of seconds.

“Now, we can have part of our first responding, in this case a drone, on scene overhead in 15 to 20 seconds,” Police Chief Ray Schultz said.

In addition to the faster response time, the drone is also well-equipped and can stream back video in real time.

“The software that we built allows any first responders to get a live overhead view of an emergency before they actually arrive,” CEO of Paladin Drones Divyaditya Shrivastava said.

The onboard camera is also able to provide help in the dark.

“Incidents at night or an incident where there are fire, that thermal camera can actually pick up heat signatures,” Shrivastava said.

“(It’s) pretty unique technology,” Mark Kobelan said.

Kobelan, the mayor of Piney Point Village, recently had to call police for a possible suspicious person. Within seconds, a drone was overhead.

“I think it’s fabulous. It protects the police, and it protects the citizens. If I was a bad guy, I’d be thinking twice about coming to Piney Point Village,” Kobelan said.

Updated: April 18, 2019 — 8:54 pm

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