Who We Are & What We Do:
We are a non-profit volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) organization that links government authorities with local pre-registered "drone" pilots to aid in SAR efforts. We are based in the Minneapolis/St Paul area and have approximately 500 registered pilots across the US, plus a few located in Europe and Australia.
What We Want to Do:
Our goal is to make Air Bears the go-to for enhanced SAR missions. As we describe in the application, the one major barrier to success has been the ability for authorities to verify volunteer credibility and easily deploy teams. A new pilot/authority portal will enable our team to save lives or provide closure to families and loved ones.
What new functionality we are looking for
We are looking to increase the capabilities of our "pilot" and "authority" portal. Admittedly we do have a fairly "pretty" website (should I quick break it?!), but we have a huge hurdle to jump. We're stuck and only you can help!
With the updates, pilots will have additional portal capabilities such as uploading their certificates (PDF), uploading a profile picture, uploading pictures of their drones, adding certifications & training, & equipment capabilities.
Pilots can be designated to have access to authorities' training and receive "certification" on their profile for completing the training.
Pilots can also be designated to have access to additional information such as outreach presentation material.
Pilots will be able to purchase Air Bear ID cards from the pilot store.
Authorities will be able to post region specific training, pre-build teams, and request ad hoc teams based on needed equipment capabilities.
When a request for assistance is made, the website will notify potential pilot participants via their noted preferences (text, pre-recorded message, email). Non-urgent requests will also be available - for instance our members provide desensitization training for mounted police.
Administrators will be able to review, remove, and manage all information, and be able to message members based on specified parameters (i.e. geography or designation).
How the new functionality will help
The drone world is hot, new, and to many authorities, scary. There are dozens of studies that show the efficacy of drone SAR, filling the gap between foot and manned aircraft. Many organizations recognize the value of drones in SAR but don't have the resources, training, or knowledge to add drones assets to their SAR arsenal. New FAA regulations have tended to complicate and confuse local governments and as a result they're turning to trusted agents, like Air Bears. Authorities need to be assured that the pilots they work with are certified, seasoned, and safe. They also need to be able to efficiently ready-launch pilots at a moments notice.
How our organization will use the technology
The pilot portal will be the heartbeat of our organization, tracking our volunteers, requests, and outreach. Right now the management of our website, pilots, and authorities takes up the majority of our time, leaving precious little time to expand our outreach and education. Enhancing and automating much of this process will allow us to grow efficiently and focus more of our resources on our mission.
Who will use the technology
The updates to our portal will impact everyone of our members, giving them the tools they need to be supportive and successful in saving lives when minutes count.
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