DJI & Menlo Park FPD Expand Drone Tech for Public Safety (Multi-Video)

DJI has formalized its ongoing collaboration with California-based Menlo Park Fire Protection District (FPD) by designating the agency as a Solution Development Partner, dedicated to expanding the use of drones as reliable tools in emergency preparedness, response and post-incident missions.

As a Solution Development Partner, Menlo Park FPD will test customized solutions developed by DJI for the public safety sector, as part of its pioneering work to learn how best to use drones to protect lives and property.

DJI and Menlo Park FPD have worked together to respond to local emergencies such as structure fires and water rescues, as well as large-scale disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the devastating fires at Yosemite and Santa Rosa.

(Discover how firemen in Branford, Connecticut, used the Phantom (a flying camera) to extinguish a dangerous fire safely. Courtesy of DJI and YouTube)

The Santa Rosa fire marked the first time the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection authorized drone flights as part of the emergency response in a large-scale disaster.

Menlo Park FPD used DJI equipment for more than 120 drone flights to provide situational awareness for authorities, assist with search and recovery efforts, and survey destroyed neighborhoods.


This followed earlier collaborations that demonstrated how public safety agencies can use drones to quickly gather information on emergencies and provide insights to incident commanders, while safely sharing the skies with traditional public safety aircraft.

“Our partnership with Menlo Park FPD has given us valuable opportunities to see firsthand how our platforms perform out on the field, allowing us to incorporate real-life learnings into the ongoing improvement of our hardware and software capabilities,” said Romeo Durscher, Director of Education at DJI.

DJI Director of Education Romeo Durscher, participates in Rigorous Studies Of Drones In Mountain Rescues Showing Lifesaving Potential
DJI Director of Education Romeo Durscher, participating in Rigorous Studies Of Drones In Mountain Rescues Showing Lifesaving Potential

“In just the last few months, we have seen our aerial platforms play a critical role in supporting emergency response efforts during and after a disaster, such as the Yosemite Fire, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and the recent Santa Rosa fire.”

Menlo Park FPD is now beta-testing a new leading enterprise solution announced by DJI today, the FlightHub web-based professional drone management system, to see how it can improve fire-rescue operations.

View Your Teams’ Remote Drone Operations in One Place, in Real Time

FlightHub provides enterprises a clear, centralized view of their company’s drone operations to enable onsite pilots to more effectively collaborate with offsite teams.

(Drone platforms have proved a valuable resource for a host of industrial applications, including disaster response and construction. The expansion of drone operations has also presented a difficulty for scale management, standardizing procedures, and ensuring reliable regulatory compliance. To help organizations of all sizes conquer this challenge, DJI introduces FlightHub, enabling enterprise users to manage live operations, organize fleets, and log all of their historical flight data. Courtesy of DJI and YouTube)

The Map View and Real-Time View features display telemetry, camera and sensor data for faster, more informed decision making.

  • Map View provides offsite teams with live, map-based telemetry data of all drone operations for easier coordination of simultaneous flights and multiple drone teams.
    • In addition, information from DJI’s Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) geofencing system is also displayed to ensure all users have access to up-to-date guidance on areas where flight may be limited due to safety concerns or regulations.
  • Real-Time View provides offsite teams with live video feeds from up to four onsite drones, enabling unique workflows for teams that need onsite pilots to relay information to offsite engineers, and for critical flight operations where real-time data enables quick decision making.

DJI FlightHub

Access Flight Data Securely, From Anywhere

FlightHub’s web-based data management tools include features that sync and store drone flight data in a secure, searchable database for enterprises to ensure regulatory compliance, pilot accountability, and improved team management, regardless of the scale of the project or size of the fleet.

  • Flight Logs and Statistics are uploaded and archived, creating a searchable database of past flights that relieves drone pilots from manually recording flight information.
    • Administrators have the ability to store historical telemetry data for easier regulatory compliance and operations management, and more effective internal communication regarding drone programs.
  • Secure Web Access and Cloud Storage provides access to FlightHub from any web browser through a US-based Amazon Web Services server.
    • FlightHub data management operations have been pre-assessed in accordance with SOC2 AICPA standards.
    • Future versions of FlightHub will have the option to integrate with private clouds for organizations that demand the highest level of data security.
  • Media Library transfers flight information including photos and videos directly from the DJI Pilot app into FlightHub, saving time and eliminating the need to manually transfer data from the DJI Pilot app or drone using an SD card (coming soon).

Manage Fleets and Teams with Ease

FlightHub improves internal resource management by providing an overview of teams and fleets, with the ability to set hierarchies for efficient team coordination, effective equipment procurement, and ongoing equipment maintenance.

  • Fleet Management allows easier tracking of equipment usage.
    • Flights are tracked by individual drone through its device name, enabling more effective procurement and preventative maintenance.
  • Team Management allows users to establish and manage teams through a hierarchy system of Administrators, Captains, and Pilots.
    • The ability to segment teams by client, location, and mission type improves resource and team management.

DJI and Menlo Park FPD have worked together since March 2016, with a demonstration of the DJI/FLIR Zenmuse XT camera.

Since then, DJI has provided hands-on training on its aerial platforms for Menlo Park FPD personnel, and reviewed tactical approaches and implementations of DJI platforms in fire-rescue operations.

Throughout this collaboration, DJI has collected valuable product feedback from various joint exercises, developed proofs of concept for customized applications of its powerful M600 professional drone, and completed several live fire training scenarios.

“Working closely with DJI the past 18 months has enabled us to better understand just how much more utility we can get from their aerial drone platforms,” said Harold Schapelhouman, Fire Chief at Menlo Park FPD.

“Our collaboration in Santa Rosa produced a tremendous amount of insightful data that has helped us develop a plan of action and manage our resources more efficiently during this critical time.”

“As they experience the pain points of coordinating disaster operations and on-site data transfer, we discover more ways in which we can push the boundaries of aerial technology to better serve the community.”

(A vital component to search & rescue success is the practice of high-resolution imaging during a search, enabled by a fleet of Inspires. See one of those life-saving efforts that places responders directly in the face of danger. Courtesy of DJI and YouTube)

The partnership was announced at DJI’s AirWorks Conference, which began today and is an annual event that brings DJI users together to inspire, connect and energize attendees about the beneficial drone applications available to enterprises today as well as the future of the global commercial drone industry.

Drawing attendees from a diverse set of backgrounds who use drones every day within the agriculture, construction, energy, infrastructure and public safety industries for three days of presentations, hands-on workshops, training sessions and networking opportunities.