Responding to disasters is a critical function for first responders and the emergency management community. The primary mission when responding to disasters is saving lives, which often requires the use of multiple resources. Rotary and fixed-winged aircraft have traditionally performed disaster response missions, such as overhead damage assessments, reconnaissance, and missing person searches. However, with the advancement of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), there is an opportunity to perform many conventional aerial missions in a safer, more expeditious, and cost-effective manner.
Szanca is a member of the All Hazards Consortium (AHC) a 10 year old state sanctioned 501c3 non-profit organization focused on expediting getting business back to business and communities back to normal following any type of multi-state storm, disaster, or disruption of the critical infrastructure. Pennsylvania has been one of the regional members of the AHC and has had Board membership since the AHC’s inception in 2005. The AHC is working with the various regional states on establishing Emergency Management and First Responder advancements to include integration of UAS operations. Both Szanca and the AHC work closely with the PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group.
The Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group (FRWG) is a private sector managed working group of the All Hazards Consortium (AHC), is focused on expediting safe and effective restoration of critical “lifeline infrastructure” and supply chains to support business and community resilience. Members of this working group include critical infrastructure owners and operators from multiple sectors including electric, fuel, telecommunications, transportation, food, water, and medical.
With an initial focus on establishing operational capability in the PA/WV Region, it is our hope to then expand integrated UAS support to the emergency management community on a national level.