Drones & emergency first responders

Final report of EENA / DJI Pilot Test Project now available!

Drones & emergency first responders





We are delighted to announce that the final report of the EENA / DJI Pilot Test Programme is now available!






But how did we get here?
In April 2016, EENA and DJI entered into a partnership for an in-depth analysis of how emergency services use drone technology with the aim to identify best practices in terms of operational, technical, safety, privacy and legal issues. Four pilot sites were selected for the project, whose teams used RPAS for several months in a variety of operational scenarios.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or drones, have created significant opportunities for emergency first responders, as well as important challenges. As a response to the adoption of RPAS by emergency services, in 2015 EENA created a working group on drones that was quickly embraced by the emergency services community and became a network of 125 members.

Selected pilot sites: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (UK), Donegal Mountain Rescue Team (Ireland), Greater Copenhagen Fire Department (Denmark) and Reykjavik SAR Team (Iceland).


"EENA would encourage all emergency services to evaluate the benefit of RPAS for themselves and we remain available to support them wherever possible." Tony O'Brien, EENA


Key challenges identified:
The key challenges below were identified at an early stage and the participants were challenged to identify best practices over the course of the project:

  • Integration of RPAS in Standard Operating Procedure
  • Training of teams on the use of RPAS
  • Hardware needs and maintenance
  • Logistics
  • External framework for RPAS use


"What we have realized is that a drone has evolved from being a flying device to a data collection device. Through that it has become a decision making tool, with applications beyond just locating a missing person or getting a simple bird’s eye view." Romeo Durscher, DJI.


More information:
DJI and EENA will continue to search for best practices and concrete practical improvements for how the technology adds value. We welcome feedback and look forward to keeping a close dialogue with the community. Please feel free to contact us through EENA’s website ( or through




EENA, the European Emergency Number Association, is a Brussels-based NGO set up in 1999 dedicated to promoting high-quality emergency services reached by the number 112 throughout the EU. EENA serves as a discussion platform for emergency services, public authorities, decision makers, researchers, associations and solution providers with a view to improving the emergency response in accordance with citizens' requirements. EENA is also promoting the establishment of an efficient system for alerting citizens about imminent or developing emergencies.

The EENA memberships include more than 1300 emergency services representatives from over 80 countries world-wide, 80 solution providers, 15 international associations/organisations, more than 200 Members of the European Parliament and over 90 researchers.