Earlier this fall, The City of Reno and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, recently completed successful first flights as part of their participation in the FAA’s Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which is fast-tracking regulatory approvals for drone delivery. Conducting the first multi-drone delivery demonstration under the FAA’s IPP, a single Flirtey pilot simultaneously operated multiple Flirtey drones and simulated the delivery of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the presence of the FAA. They were conducted under a regulatory waiver allowing the operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems by one pilot, granted to Flirtey.
In October 2017, Flirtey and REMSA, an emergency medical services provider in northern Nevada, partnered to launch the first AED drone delivery service in the United States.
Through the partnership, when REMSA’s 9-1-1 communications center receives a cardiac arrest call, in addition to dispatching an ambulance, a Flirtey drone, carrying an AED is also dispatched to the scene of the emergency. Research shows that timely defibrillation drastically increases the odds of survival for cardiac arrest victims. By delivering an AED to the scene of a cardiac arrest within minutes of a 9-1-1 call being received, Flirtey and REMSA decrease the time that passes between a 9-1-1 call being placed and the application of an AED to the victim.
After Flirtey conducted the first flights with the City of Reno last month, company Founder and CEO, Matthew Sweeny, said, “Flirtey just demonstrated deliveries with multiple drones per pilot for the first time, which is a major milestone toward scaling drone delivery nationwide. We’re excited to be working with our partners and the FAA to save lives and improve lifestyles with Flirtey’s drone delivery.”
The flights were conducted using Flirtey’s next-generation drone, which was specially designed to carry heavier payloads for longer distances — allowing the company to deliver medicine and commercial packages quickly and more efficiently.
As one of 10 selected governments for the competitive program, the City of Reno chose to partner with Flirtey to deliver AEDs to cardiac arrest patients to save lives as well as pioneer a scalable model for commercial 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,” said 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.”
The City of Reno IPP team includes: Flirtey, Reno Police Department and Reno Fire Department, Washoe County, City of Sparks and Sparks Fire Department, FedEx, Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA), Alpine Insurance, Northern Nevada Medical Center, The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Truckee Meadows Community College, Carson Fire Department, Iris Automation, AirMap, T-Mobile and The American Red Cross.
The coalition will continue to work with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA to secure necessary regulatory approvals to perform UAS delivery of AEDs to residents of Washoe County in which Reno is located.