What is Drone as First Responder (DFR)

DFR programs are an innovative solution for public safety organizations to deploy UAS assets as a way to enhance a department’s response to emergency calls and situations. DFR programs are designed to decrease a department’s response times, provide situational awareness for on-scene first responders and incident commanders, and increase response efficiency. DFR provides unmatched capability for command center personnel to ‘virtually’ respond and gain situational awareness at an incident before emergency personnel arrive on scene. UAS platforms with the industry’s most advanced camera technology are used to stream HD video to the department’s real-time crime center (RTCC) where the drone operator, incident response manager and RTCC team, operate the drone and communicate with the first responders in the field. This innovative response solution provides the critical teams in the field with situational awareness and tactical intelligence on the ground before they ever arrive on scene.

The DFR Basics

DFR programs are built around a central UAS launch and recovery facility (LRF). The LRF location can be a centrally located police station, fire department, city building, or commercial partner facility. When a 911 call is received, the drone operator rapidly deploys the UAS platform directly to the scene, providing airborne response, often minutes faster than ground response units alone. The on-scene UAS provides the RTCC with real-time HD video, developing unprecedented situational awareness that can be quickly passed to additional responding units.

How To Get Your DFR Program Started

Drone Program: 

If your department does not already have a drone program, now’s the time to get one started. A DFR program is technically difficult and will be built off of the existing foundation of a scalable and sustainable UAS program. Beyond equipment and software, a successful DFR program will be built from existing Training, Operations, Safety, and Sustainment (TOSS®) policies and procedures.


Vector’s team of professionals can help your department conduct and establish the training procedures needed build a successful and safe drone program. Our instructors will help your team prepare for Part 107 certification, provide your operators with hands-on operation training with your UAS platform(s), and provide instruction for tactical operations and communications. Creating a robust UAS training program will serve as the foundation for a successful UAS program.


Owning a drone does not constitute having a ‘drone program’. A drone program consists of a developing Training Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Safety Procedures, a Maintenance and Sustainment Program, and a short & long-term budget for initial start-up, program sustainability and tech refresh. The Vector Team will help you establish and institute the procedures needed to get your drone off the ground. Additionally, we will provide the consultation to guide you thru the process of gaining COA and BVLOS approval.


Vector’s documented safety program provides the foundation for your organization’s UAS Safety Program. Establishing a comprehensive safety program reduces liability and provides continuity and oversite for UAS program managers. A complete safety program provides the foundation for Crew Resource Management (CRM), Operations Risk Management (ORM), Safety Management Systems & Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM).



Sustainment is a vital part of any successful long-term drone program. Maintenance, Field Care for UAS Equipment and Warranty/Tech Support are critical to keeping your aircraft fleet airborne. Vector offers Live Tech Support, On-call Consultation, Standard Operating Procedures Development, Tech Refresh product update support, and Rapid Acquisition Support.

Equipment & Software: 

Vector provides our clients with consultation to facilitate acquisition of drones and accessories that match the individual needs of the department. We do not approach drone programs in a one-size-fits-all methodology. The requirements for most departments will vary considerably based on geography, environment, mission set(s), and budget. Our team will help you and your department match your needs/requirements with the UAS platforms, accessories and software solutions that bring the most complete set of capabilities to your program.


Vector offers a full spectrum of DFR consulting solutions. We provide:

  • FAA Part 107 training
  • COAs
  • Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) waivers
  • Platform and Technology acquisition
  • And, much more!

Vector has more than 50 years of combined aviation experience to help get your drone program off the ground. Give us a call today to schedule a no-cost consultation and evaluation of your drone program.