Managing Public Safety: The Importance of Deployment Logs and Asset Management for Drones

The use of drones in public safety operations has become increasingly common in recent years. Drones offer a unique perspective that can help first responders make critical decisions, provide situational awareness, and improve response times. However, as with any technology, there are risks and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure safe and effective use. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of keeping a deployment log and managing drones as assets to ensure public safety.

Deployment Logs
A deployment log is a record of all drone flights and operations, including the date, time, location, and purpose of the flight, as well as many other data points relevant to the use of the drone. This log is essential for several reasons.
1. It allows public safety agencies to maintain a record of their drone operations, which can be used to demonstrate compliance with regulations and best practices.

2. It provides an audit trail that can be used to investigate any incidents or accidents that may occur during drone operations.

3.When a community member or governing body requests information about drone usage, privacy concerns, total money expended and other items, having a deployment log can quickly answer questions about the usage, and help to justify any drone program and agency may have

Finally, it can be used to track the performance of the drone and its pilots, helping agencies identify areas for improvement and optimize their operations.
Asset Management
Managing drones as assets is another critical aspect of public safety drone operations. An asset management system enables public safety agencies to track the location, maintenance, and performance of their drones. This information is essential for ensuring that the drone is ready and available when needed and for identifying any maintenance issues before they become significant problems.

Asset management systems can also be used to track the cost of drone operations, helping agencies budget for future expenses and make informed decisions about purchasing new equipment. 

Another key feature for an asset management approach to drone usage is to catalog the key features an agency’s drones may have so that a quick selection can be made based on the type of incident involved.  For example, an incident that occurs at night will likely benefit more from a drone with night vision or FLIR than a daytime incident.  Other features worth identifying involve items like battery life, flight time capability, video capture or remote streaming of video and GPS location information.
Benefits of Deployment Log and Asset Management
Keeping a deployment log and managing drones as assets provides several benefits for public safety agencies. Firstly, it promotes accountability and transparency, which is critical for maintaining public trust in the agency. Secondly, it helps agencies identify areas for improvement and optimize their operations, ultimately leading to more effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Finally, it helps agencies comply with regulations and best practices, reducing the risk of accidents and incidents during drone operations – all of which touch on the public safety implications of a piece of equipment malfunctioning or failing to complete the mission involved.

Drones are a valuable tool for public safety agencies, and steadily increasing in number and capabilities, but they come with additional requirements for the agency using them. Keeping a deployment log and managing drones as assets are two essential components of safe and effective drone operations. By maintaining a record of drone deployments, operations and outcomes as well as tracking the location, maintenance, and performance, public safety agencies can ensure that their drone operations are in keeping with the goal of safekeeping the public that we serve.