We are faced with a lot of changes within the drone search and rescue community, that need to be addressed. One area of concern is we have different kinds of volunteers, and we need to be able to identify who is serious about actually helping people and those that just want to be “Card Carrying” members. Unfortunately, we have too many times when we are not able to find help for families, even when we have quite a number of pilots in the area of need. There are a few ideas we have for improving this, and we welcome any and all feedback on these issues. We understand this is a volunteer organization, and many just have other commitments, but we need to have pilots signed up that at least respond with a “not available”. We live in an age of instant communications, and it is very rare that you should not be able to respond. We take our mission of finding help for families very seriously and are just looking for ways to provide it.

Here are some of the changes we intend on implementing.

Pilot volunteers will be required to provide all the necessary details in their profiles, be expected to keep it current, and we would like to figure out a system of tracking things like responsiveness to mission requests, level of competence in using drones in search and rescue scenarios and maybe even some sort of levels or badges that members can attain. I encourage all pilots to check and update your records to provide the required information to be “Approved” Too many of our pilots have not completed there records and for those of you that forgot how to update your records, simply go to the signup page  – click on the link labeled “Forget your private link? Click here to have it emailed to you” and be sure to update your record with all the required information.

Training modules produced by SWARM, or training from a trusted source, that pilots can show experience at certain SAR scenarios and/or equipment capabilities. We hope that our more experienced pilots will help with creating this content or at the very least providing their own tips and information they have found that could help other pilots that have not flown a mission yet. I expect in the near future that some missions that come up will require the ability to show a level of competency to be able to participate, especially on missions involving other organizations. We will most likely post the subject matter for a training topic, and then request feedback from our experienced members on that topic. In this way, we hope to provide training that will include real-world experience and lessons learned.

These new systems in no way will affect anyone who is currently a volunteer at any level with SWARM. Just having folks share the missions when appropriate is very valuable, and you don’t need to be a pilot to spread the word!

Please reference this page for the list of topics for the training videos. It will change of course.

More to come on this…

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