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New Joint Effort Boosts Drone Standards for Public Safety Officials

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Two of the world’s leading safety-standards developers are joining forces to help the growing number of public safety professionals who want to use drones – also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – to help protect and save lives.

Today, the National Fire Protection Association and ASTM International signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a joint working group (JWG) of about two dozen top experts in public safety and drone technology. 

This group, which first met Feb. 23, is working to create “use-case scenarios” to help meet needs of law enforcement, search-and-rescue teams, emergency medical services personnel, and firefighters who want to use drones in various operations. 

“Innovation in drone technology is driving the demand for technical standards, training, and certification for first responders,” said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. “Through the experts in this new group, we hope to see new benchmarks, use-case scenarios, and performance criteria to help professionals use drones to be more effective in their jobs.”

I’ve seen first-hand how experts in unmanned aircraft systems and response robots could work with first responders to conduct lifesaving tasks,” said ASTM International President Katharine Morgan. “I’m excited about the potential for this new group to align efforts of various stakeholders and to build a technical foundation that empowers people on the front lines.” 

The JWG is comprised of representatives from ASTM International’s unmanned aircraft systems (F38) committee, its search-and-rescue committee (F32), and its subcommittee on response robots (E54.09) as well as the committee that created NFPA 2400 (Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations). 

According to Morgan and Pauley, the group would serve as a key resource for various global efforts related to drone standardization.

About ASTM International

Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovative services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.  

About NFPA

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission.

Media Inquiries: Nate Osburn, tel +1.610.832.9603; and Lorraine Carli, tel +1.617.984.7275; 

MOU / Joint Working Group Contacts: Christine DeJong, tel +1.610.832.9736; and Curt Floyd, 

Release #10527