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Drones for First Responders

  • Cosumnes Fire Department 10573 East Stockton Boulevard Elk Grove, CA, 95624 United States (map)

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH, 2017 from 1:30-3:30pm at Cosumnes Fire Department, Elk Grove, CA

Gene Robinson (Wimberley Fire Department, Texas), the country's leading expert on search and rescue (SAR) and first responder drones, will provide a free introduction and overview of this innovative technology.

Often referred to as the "Grandfather of sUAS SAR" (small Unmanned Aerial Systems Search And Rescue) Gene Robinson formed RP Search Services in 2007. Its mission as a 501(c)3 company is to bring UAS into the public service roles of search and rescue, fire-fighting, and public safety support.  Since then he has assisted law enforcement agencies and SAR operations in 30 states and five (5) foreign countries. Gene is credited with 13 rescue/recoveries to date.

Gene is the author of the first “how to” book for using UAS during SAR and natural disasters: First to Deploy. In 2014 he co-founded Drone Pilot, Inc. with Texas Peace Officer John Buell. Past clients include the FBI, US Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Austin Texas, The US Coast Guard, SpaceX, and Red Bull.Gene currently serves as the Chief Pilot for the Wimberley Fire Department (TX), where he also provides UAS aid to surrounding agencies and departments.

In partnership with Drone Pilots Federation, an international non-profit organization based in Sacramento, and the Cosumnes Fire Department, Gene Robinson will provide a one-hour executive overview of Drones for Emergency and First Response Applications to leaders in the Sacramento region via remote video and audio connection.  

This special event is being held for emergency response officials and administrators in the Sacramento region who have begun the process of selecting or acquiring drones for their operations.  The use of drones for emergency response efforts can bring dramatic benefits, but this comes with a unique and substantial set of new requirements and risks that must be managed safely and responsibly.  

A thorough introduction to the successful operation of drones for emergency responders requires many hours of dedicated training. Attendees of this event will gain a reasonable and responsible expectation of what is required (and what is possible) for departments that seek to utilize modern UAS in their operations.


  • What are the most effective and successful applications for fire departments?

  • What are the most effective and successful applications for law enforcement and public safety?

  • How effective can drones be for SAR (search and rescue)?

  • What are the costs associated with drones for emergency response?

  • What staffing and training is required?

  • What is a reasonable schedule for acquisition and implementation?

  • How to move a drone program forward?


Seating is very limited and must be reserved in advance. Attendance is restricted to current and active emergency response / first response / public safety officials, officers, and administrators. Elected government officials or their staff members will be considered if space allows. There is no charge to attend.


Gene Robinson and John Buell are making plans to be in the Sacramento region to conduct a 2-day workshop on UAS for Emergency Response.  Departments and agencies represented at this event will be given preference to attend the upcoming workshop. 


Drone Pilot, Inc. is a veteran-owned small business founded in 2016 by Texas Peace Officer John Buell and "the Grandfather of sUAS SAR" firefighter Gene Robinson. It was created to set the authoritative standard for public safety applications of unmanned vehicles. It is a professional service provider for unmanned air, ground, and maritime robotics. To date DPI has accomplished hundreds of public safety missions and training exercises across 30 states in the USA and five countries. DPI team members are directly credited with 13 rescue/recoveries. More on Drone Pilot, Inc. is at their website.


Drone Pilots Federation is a worldwide organization with drone pilots and professionals in over 35 countries dedicated to the safe, beneficial, and responsible use of drones. It is an educational 501(c)3 non-profit community-based organization based in Sacramento, California.


Mark Wellendorf

Cosumnes Fire Department

10573 East Stockton Boulevard

Elk Grove, CA 95624


Bruce Parks, President, Drone Pilots Federation