The FDNY Drone Program: Pilots Talk Training, Challenges, and Changes

  • Source: Drone Life
  • Published: 03/15/2023 12:00 AM

Michael Wall, Michael Leo, and Kevin O’Malley are members of one of the best known public safety departments in the world: FDNY. Despite the challenges of operating in an urban environment, FDNY supports their responders from the air. In a presentation at the National Public Safety UAS Conference, the team discussed the lessons they’ve learned from building a drone program and flying in NYC. Capt. Michael Leo is the director of the FDNY Special Operations Command Robotics division, Mike Wall and Kevin O’Malley are veteran FDNY firefighters and UAS pilots. The FDNY drone program has reached a stage of maturity where the team has now identified an ideal profile for new candidates: one that ensures that their drones will be used most effectively.


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