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DRONERESPONDERS at Xponential 2022: New Concepts for Public Safety UAS Education and Networking

DRONERESPONDERS at Xponential 2022A Focus on Public Safety UAS Education and Networking: DRONERESPONDERS at XPONENTIAL 2022

AIRT will produce two new concepts –Conclave and Forum – for first responders using Drones For Good.

Since its inception in Spring 2019, DRONERESPONDERS has emerged as the leading non-profit voice dedicated exclusively to the support and advancement of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) use by public safety agencies and emergency services organizations across the U.S.

Part of what has made DRONERESPONDERS so successful is their track record of forging strategic partnerships with key industry organizations to help advance the drone and robotic ecosystem beyond just the realm of public safety.

“In the fire service we learned from the very first day about the importance of working together as a team because lives depended on it,” says Charles Werner, Director of DRONERESPONDERS.  “This concept has been carried forward in our strategic view.  We want to work with world-class partners that share our vision surrounding the potential of drone technology across all sectors because a rising tide lifts all ships.”

One of the most visible DRONERESPONDERS partnerships is between the Airborne International Response Team (AIRT), the 501(c)3 organization that serves as the official home of DRONERESPONDERS, and the newly renamed Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of uncrewed systems and robotics.

For the past several years, including during the darkest days of the COVID pandemic when all conferences were held virtually, the DRONERESPONDERS brand has served as the official public safety content program for AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL – widely considered the largest trade show of drones and uncrewed vehicle systems.

Looking back, Werner says that time now feels like a preseason schedule that helped to shape the nature of things to come.

“AUVSI has been an exceptional partner and our relationship continues to have incredible potential to positively impact the uncrewed systems industry,” says Werner.  “A major focus of that is how we educate attendees at XPONENTIAL each year through our DRONERESPONDERS content program.”

This year, XPONENTIAL will take place from April 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  The conference will bring together a community of end users, technologists, and policy makers – as well as public safety officers from around the State of Florida and beyond – to collectively write the next chapter of autonomous innovation.

AIRT has once again partnered with AUVSI to produce this year’s public safety program for XPONENTIAL.  This year’s DRONERESPONDERS branded events will feature two new concepts called “Conclave” and “Forum.”

The DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Conclave will consist of a full day of educational programming on Monday, April 25 dedicated exclusively to Florida public safety professionals who are exploring or operating drones for life-safety missions.

Florida Conclave attendees will also receive special access to the DRONERESPONDERS Public Safety Section hosted by BRINC Drones at “KO“ – the official XPONENTIAL 2022 kick-off party on Monday evening at Topgolf Orlando.  On Tuesday, April 26, Conclave registrants will have access to the XPONENTIAL keynote sessions, exhibit hall floor, and outdoor demonstrations.

“Conclave at XPONENTIAL represents a truly unique opportunity for Florida public safety professionals who are operating drones and robotic systems to learn directly from their peers,” says Sgt. Robert Dooley, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program Coordinator for the Florida Highway Patrol, who also serves as a lead member of the DRONERESPONDERS Florida Public Safety Coordination Group (FLOGRU).

“Not only will attendees receive valuable knowledge directly from credentialed first responders operating drones in Florida, but they will also experience the full magnitude of the uncrewed vehicle systems industry and develop relationships that benefit their drone programs moving forward,” says Dooley.

But “Conclave” is just DRONERESPONDERS’ opening act.

The DRONERESPONDERS Forum at XPONENTIAL will provide three days of educational programming surrounding drones and uncrewed vehicle systems.  Forum attendees will receive full access to all DRONERESPONDERS public safety related programming starting at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 through 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28.  This includes access to all XPONENTIAL keynote sessions, the exhibit hall floor, outdoor demonstrations, and other AUVSI designated events

Dooley, who previously attended the DRONERESPONDERS program at XPONENTIAL, believes this could be a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for many Florida-based public safety and emergency services professionals who lack the ability or funding to attend educational conferences outside the state.

“We worked very hard with the planning team to develop a program that will meet the needs of Florida’s first responders who operate drones,” says Dooley.  “But we also wanted to highlight and learn how other agencies around the U.S. are using these systems.  I think this year’s schedule reflects that.”

Rich Gatanis, a firefighter and HAZMAT Technician who also serves as the UAS Program Coordinator for the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District in Florida, agrees.

“The DRONERESPONDERS Conclave and Forum programs are designed to provide an opportunity for the public safety drone community to engage and discuss important issues with one another in a unique setting where the entire unmanned systems industry serves as the backdrop,” says Gatanis, who also is a lead member of FLOGRU.  “The knowledge shared at these types of events will help law enforcement and fire rescue departments build stronger, more professional public safety UAS programs.”

Gatanis points out that there are three significant benefits for public safety drone professionals who attend the DRONERESPONDERS program at XPONENTIAL this April.

“First, you are going to learn how other public safety agencies are successfully using these systems for a variety of different missions,” says Gatanis.  “Second, you will see the latest UAS technology and connect directly with the manufacturers and developers of these products.  Finally, you will meet and develop relationships with other public safety program managers and remote pilots that you can call on for future needs.”

“Knowledge and networking, that is the primary objective of this year’s program at XPONENTIAL,” adds Dooley.  “Skill and experience will come later during live training, exercises, and real-world incidents.”

“Like I said, it’s all about relationships and working as a team,” says Werner cracking a smile.  “Every partnership we develop – whether with an organization or individual – is designed to ultimately allow first responders use drones more safely and effectively to help protect property and save lives.”

For additional information about, or to register for, the DRONERESPONDERS Conclave and Forum, please visit and  Florida public safety professionals eligible for the special Conclave registration rate are welcome to email for additional information or to request the promo code.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

This content was originally published here.

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