Drone First Responder

Skyfire Response — a complete turnkey solution for Drone First Responder (DFR) programs. Our team is the only one to have assisted the very first DFR programs in the United States.

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America’s First BVLOS & DFR Consultancy

Drone First Responder

What is a Drone First Responder (DFR) Program?

DFR programs are a revolutionary means by which the deployment of drones enhances response to emergency situations and adds an element of safety for public safety agencies and the community. DFR programs aim to decrease response times, provide situational awareness and increase efficiency. 

Saving Lives When Seconds Count: The Case for Drone First Responder (DFR) Programs

One of the most critical uses for drones is saving lives, and this is already being done in many corners of the United States, today!

How DFR Works:

As soon as an incident is reported to 911, a remote operator deploys an aircraft directly to the scene, often arriving faster than the first responders. The drone provides a video feed to first responders and incident command for increased situational awareness. Remote pilots can communicate with teams on the ground thus increasing the safety and efficiency of each emergency response. In over 4,000 calls in the Chula Vista PD program, one of the first DFR programs in the country, drones arrived on the scene in less than 2.5 minutes. They also reported over 1,000 deployments which avoided dispatching a patrol unit. These programs provide a truly innovative approach to informed and reliable incident response.


The Building Blocks of a Drone First Responder (DFR) Program:

Equipment: Skyfire provides consultation and facilitates procurement of the latest aircraft from multiple manufacturers, compact airspace awareness radars from Echodyne, and drone-in-a-box solutions from Hextronix and Ondas, to meet public safety department’s requirements. From the most entry level to complex, Skyfire has several equipment options available.]

Training: Skyfire’s training covers program development, FAA regulations, UAS operations, Part 107, and hands-on tactical applications. Skyfire offers advanced courses as well in SWAT operations, accident reconstruction, evidence collection, and mapping/thermography.

FAA Consulting: From basic Part 107 certification to Blanket and Jurisdictional COAs to Tactical Beyond Visual Line of Sight (TBVLOS) and traditional Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, Skyfire has more experience than any other consultancy in the country. Skyfire has filed over 700 traditional COAs in partnership with agencies across the country; and is currently developing a BVLOS waiver with no visual observer utilizing Echodyne’s radar products.

Software: Using various types of software, Skyfire provides public safety teams with everything from remote video streaming to full remote-piloting capabilities from the comfort of a desktop computer. Software services are billed separately, and as a recurring service.

Program Operation: For agencies wanting to completely outsource their DFR program, Skyfire’s team of experienced, vetted and safety-conscious pilots fly the UAS, and through our software packages, give communications and command teams the ability to see low latency live-streaming data to make time-critical decisions and maintain all public safety decision making.

Helped process over 700 COAs nationwide, more than any other UAS consultancy in the United States.

On-call team of drone experts, here to provide guidance and support you through the launch of your successful DFR program.

Helped establish the very first DFR programs in the United States.

DFR Program Benefits

Increased officer & community safety

Significantly decreased response times

Crew resource management – save unnecessary deployments through use of a drones

Increased situational awareness ahead of officer arriving on scene 

Real-time actionable data streaming to incident command and intelligence management

Increased accountability through high-definition video footage, providing evidence quality records


Insights from Chula Vista PD’s DFR Program

Skyfire was the first to help bring BVLOS to public safety agencies in support of the Chula Vista Police (CVPD) in Southern California. Soon after approval, CVPD established the first DFR program in the country. The DFR program is a very successful emergency response model and is an excellent example of how drones enhance the safety and response time for public safety officials. The Skyfire team is readily available to guide you through every step of the process in establishing your DFR program.



Total Calls Responded to: 13,999

DFR Assisted Arrests: 1,653

DFR Deployment Avoided Dispatching a Patrol Unit: 3,459

DFR First on the Scene Count: 8,408

Average Response Time First on the Scene (in seconds): 548.61

Average Response Times – All Calls (in seconds): 521.98

Information as of 02.21.2023