GenPac’s Partnership with UTG

GenPac is working in collaboration with Unmanned Tactical Group, a company that is filling a gap in the market by providing specialized unmanned aircraft system (UAS) training. Currently, in the US, there is no standardization of drone training within the first responders’ sector, whether that is Law Enforcement firefighters or medical professionals. 

We are extremely excited at their offerings and we hope that first responder drone users see that same value.

The current state of UAS training in the USA

Under current rules, a drone pilot must take a Remote Pilot License (Part 107) from the FAA. To achieve this, students take a basic Airman’s knowledge test that only evaluates their ability to learn facts and operations. Once they’ve passed this, pilots can operate a drone in a commercial capacity without ever flying a drone. 

This doesn’t take into account the myriad different applications of drones across various industries. A drone pilot working in the film industry would need very different skills to one working in the construction industry, for example. Despite this, there are no standardized drone training programs for each industry. In many cases, that’s the equivalent of handing out a driving license to someone and letting them drive a firetruck, an 18-wheeler, or a Formula 1 car.

Unmanned Tactical Group – with the support of GenPac drones – are attempting to change this, and are offering drone training that is ‘for First-Responders, by First-Responders

Drone training for first responders

Unmanned Tactical Group is made up of 11 instructors from a variety of different public safety professions. They employ paramedics, police officers, and firefighters, all of whom offer bespoke courses that teach their contemporaries how to use drones in the line of duty. They were founded to bridge the gap in drone skills in the Public Safety industry and to help provide some level of standardization of UAS training that currently does not exist. 

Drone training that is required by law to pilot a drone falls well short of what Public Safety officials require to operate safely in the field. Training courses by Unmanned Tactical Group teach professionals how to operate safely, efficiently and within regulations while piloting a drone for emergency operations.

The company was founded on the principle of “for First-Responders, by First-Responders’’. All students are taught by current or former Public Safety officials on a variety of different courses.

 Why was Unmanned Tactical Group Founded?

With the lack of suitable drone training for first responders available, Brandon Karr – Co-Founder and Lead Instructor at Unmanned Tactical Group – decided to change that. He realized that the only way to make changes to the quality of training in the industry was to do it from within. All Public Safety officials are expected to carry out lifelong learning and training. This could be anything from learning new regulations, to learning new cutting edge techniques. Therefore, professionals in the industry are well equipped to take on new information. However, what’s missing is standardized UAS training programs.

Unmanned Tactical Group are looking to fix that. By teaching these programs from within, the hope is that over time drone skills will become another standard tool in first responders’ arsenal.

Karr said: “Training is the tip of the spear with today’s first responders.  Unmanned Tactical Group has gathered some of the best instructors Public Safety has to offer in an effort to provide experience, expertise and technical know-how to front-line professionals across the country.  Our partnership with GenPac allows us to maximize our reach to those agencies all while providing cutting edge and affordable training to GenPac’s customers.”

What types of training are available?

The trainers at Unmanned Tactical Group are considered some of the most reputable in this emerging training vocation. Their expert team covers a variety of different drone applications across a number of two and three day courses.

Their UAS Public Safety program introductory course is suitable for complete beginners, or drone pilots who have only completed a standard drone course in the past. This runs through all of the different regulations they need to be aware of as Public Safety drone operators, as well as the basics of drone operation. The students will come away with a better understanding of the aircraft systems themselves as UTG’s instructors are experts in most of the commercially available drones in the market today.

There are other – more specialized  – courses suited to a variety of different first responder scenarios. The Disaster Response course teaches first responders how to deal with natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and avalanches. They will learn how to use drones to coordinate their responses to disasters while understanding the basics of mapping and creating orthomosaics.

Other courses include crime scene mapping, augmented HAZMAT response, and UAS search and rescue, and basic thermography for UAS which does a deep dive into understanding how a thermal sensor works and best practices for its use during your operations. The Crash/crime scene mapping course shows first responders how to gather data at a crash/crime scenes quickly and efficiently. Then use the captured data to make highly accurate products for crash and crime scene investigations.   The UAS for HazMat response course teaches students how to effectively use their UAS in more advanced tactical situations such as air monitoring, chemical detection and thermal imaging.  Meanwhile, the search and rescue course teaches First-Responders how to use drones to complement a boots on the ground response whether it be a missing person or a wanted subject.

While boots on the ground remain necessary, a drone can give ground teams additional information that helps them complete their task.  The UAS Night Operations course teaches the students how to utilize these systems while flying during low-light or no-light situations.  They will learn to better understand thermal technology and how to effectively use it during night operations.

The UAS tactical operations course is a more advanced course that is suitable for a drone pilot working in any Public Safety who has intermediate skills or higher. This course teaches them how to carry out more advanced tasks such as operating drones indoors, high speed vehicle takedowns, payload delivery, and much more. 

Unmanned Tactical Group offers a variety of other courses aimed at Public Safety officials such as Legal concerns for Public Safety, Public safety Program management and so on. We will continue to partner with them over the coming years, and hope they will achieve their aim of standardizing drone training within the industry.

Drones are becoming an essential tool for first responders across the world. Interested in using drones to help your Public Safety team work more efficiently? Contact Aaron Lambert, an industry leader in Public Safety Drone Programs, for more information: [email protected] 

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