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Acceptability and perceived utility of drone technology among emergency medical service responders and incident commanders for mass casualty incident management

Alexander Hart, MD, Peter R. Chai, MD, Matthew K. Griswold, MD, Jeffrey T. Lai, MD, Edward W. Boyer, MD, PhD, John Broach, MD, MPH


Objective: This study seeks to understand the acceptability and perceived utility of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI) scene management.

Design: Qualitative questionnaires regarding the ease of operation, perceived usefulness, and training time to operate UAVs were administered to Emergency Medical Technicians (n = 15).

Setting: A Single Urban New England Academic Tertiary Care Medical Center.

Participants: Front-line emergency medical service (EMS) providers and senior EMS personnel in Incident Commander roles.

Conclusions: Data from this pilot study indicate that EMS responders are accepting to deploying and operating UAV technology in a disaster scenario. Additionally, they perceived UAV technology as easy to adopt yet impactful in improving MCI scene management.


drone, unmanned aerial vehicle, technology, mass casualty incidents, emergency medical services, incident command

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