The Biggest Little City in the World last week claimed another title when a single operator flew multiple drones delivering automated external defibrillators as part of a Federal Aviation Administration pilot program.
The first flights were successfully completed using drones made by Flirtey that are designed to move heavier payloads over longer distances and for more than one to be flown by a lone “pilot” in Reno, Nev.
“Flirtey just demonstrated deliveries with multiple drones per pilot for the first time, which is a major milestone toward scaling drone delivery nationwide,” Flirtey founder & CEO Matthew Sweeny said in prepared remarks. “We’re excited to be working with our partners and the FAA to save lives and improve lifestyles with Flirtey’s drone delivery.”
“The City of Reno is proud to partner with Flirtey, the FAA, and our local IPP partners to test drone delivery of AEDs to Washoe County residents,” added Reno mayor Hillary Schieve. “Public safety is our top priority, and the use of drones to provide life-saving AED technology to cardiac patients could reduce the number of deaths from cardiac arrest in northern Nevada.”
Last summer a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. showed that defibrillator-carrying drones could deliver equipment significantly faster than ambulances.
Researchers in Sweden tested the theory that drones would be able to make it to emergency cardiac arrests faster than current system. In a simulated study, researchers found that the drones were able to arrive approximately 16 minutes faster than standard emergency systems on average.