The powers that be have gotten a preview of the drones that could one day be carrying defibrillators to all corners of Simcoe County.
On Thursday, Volatus Aerospace, the manufacturer of these potentially life-saving drones, held a demonstration of their technology at Horseshoe Resort. Despite the demonstration going off without a hitch, the decision on whether to employ these devices county-wide has yet to be made.
Besides, as Volatus CEO Glenn Lynch tells Barrie 360, there is still legislative work to be done. “Using drones for the delivery of cargo is one of those developing things that will happen. There are regulatory changes that are necessary to enable it,” he said. “That’s happening in Canada and in the United States in the foreseeable future, not quite there yet. We need some advancements in traffic management systems.”
County of Simcoe Paramedics Chief Andrew Robert was on scene to take in Thursday morning’s demonstration and says these drones could make a huge difference, considering the widely varying geography in the County. “We know that even when we look at our response times in combination with all our partners with fire services and anybody that we link with that carries defibrillators, we still know that it takes too long in some circumstances, in some little corners of our geography to get to, to really make a positive impact on a cardiac arrest patient,” said Robert.
“The technology’s very, very impressive and intuitive and people can use those defibrillators, we just had to figure out how to get them to people in time. And the drone looks like that might be an answer,” he added.
Lynch points out, these drones could have even further applications beyond carrying defibrillators. “We are involved with a drone right now that can operate fully autonomously, go inside of a building, map out that building, figure out where the doors are and and and literally maneuver itself around the building,” he said. “But what’s interesting on the AI side is, the drone has the ability to detect a knife or a gun or some other hazard inside of the building and relay that information in real-time back to the first responders.”
The County of Simcoe continues to consider drones as only one of several means of providing faster cardiac care.