FIU Launches New Courses UAS/Drone Operations for Public Safety and Disaster Response

Florida International University’s (FIU) Academy for International Disaster Preparedness has announced two new certificate courses designed to help emergency managers and first responders better understand the role of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – also known as “drones” – in responding to incidents and major disasters.

The UAS/Drone Public Safety Operator Course is a three-day tactical offering from FIU debuting January 29-31, 2018 that will provide a basic understanding of the key regulatory, safety and operational factors surrounding UAS operations for first responders tasked with flying drones. The course will include two days of live flight training where students will learn to operate UAS and execute search and rescue operations with drones.

UAS/Drone Operational Management for Disaster Response is a five-day strategic course February 12-16, 2018 designed to assimilate various lessons learned using UAS during recent disasters and emergency response operations. The course will provide emergency management personnel with a comprehensive overview of how drones are spurring innovation in disaster management. A combination of live flight demonstrations and scenario-based, immersion problems solving exercises will provide students with a thorough understanding of how to coordinate manned and unmanned aircraft in response to a major incident.

“Drone technology is reshaping the way first responders manage incidents of all sizes,” according to Ruben Almaguer, Executive Director, FIU’s Academy for International Disaster Preparedness. The new course offerings have been designed to help connect the dots for first responders and emergency managers who want to deploy an effective, legal, and safe unmanned aviation program within their organization.”

Almaguer says the new FIU courses will offer both a tactical, hands-on approach for public safety operators of UAS, and a comprehensive strategic perspective for emergency managers, airspace coordinators, as well as other public/private sectors leaders seeking to better understand UAS integration for major disasters.

To facilitate the course, FIU will join forces with Airborne Response, a Miami-based UAS services firm employing FEMA ICS/NIMS compliant, FAA-certified remote pilots who also possess first responder and military search and rescue aviation experience. Airborne Response remote pilots have experience operating drones in a variety of environments including alongside manned rescue aircraft, during nighttime operations, and with foreign military personnel.

“There is a thirst for knowledge about operating drones during disasters,” says Christopher Todd, President, Airborne Response. “We are excited to partner with FIU to establish these two UAS academic courses for public safety operators and emergency managers both within U.S. and abroad.”

For more information or to register for these FIU courses, please visit:

About the Academy for International Disaster Preparedness at Florida International University
As part of the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University, FIU’s Academy for International Disaster Preparedness offers a range of academic programs for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals focused on disaster management. For more information, please visit:

About Airborne Response
Airborne Response is building the World’s Largest Air Force™. As an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) firm based in Miami Beach, Florida, Airborne Response helps business enterprises and government organizations innovate with the power and grace of aerial drone technologies. For more information on Airborne Response, please visit:

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