Trained to Fly Drones, Prepared to Protect the Community

Ben earned his Remote Airman Pilot; he's now flying drones (pictured in his hand here)..
Ben, Remote Airman Pilot credential

Technology is constantly evolving and it’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to stay on top of trends and use the latest equipment. For Ben, a captain at the Stafford County Sheriff’s office, this meant enrolling in FastForward to help better serve the Stafford community by flying drones.

Leading the Unmanned Aircraft System Team (aka the drone team) at the Sheriff’s office, Ben and seven of his colleagues completed FastForward training at Piedmont Virginia Community College to earn their Remote Airman Pilot credential. These 40 hours of training helped them meet the country and FAA requirements to fly drones and protect their community.

In an interview with NBC Washington’s News4, Ben talks about how the drone works with the boots-on-the-ground team in the department. “It’s feeding real-time information to this truck and then commanders, supervisors, tactical operators are able to view that information in real time and make decisions that are beneficial to the community,” he said.

When we caught up with Ben, he reiterated, “What we’ve been able to do in Stafford is use the technology to help save people who are in danger. Sometimes it’s an elderly person who is affected by Alzheimer’s who may have wondered off from home. And one time it was a young child who is on the Autism spectrum and needed our help to safety return home.”

Keeping the county safe meant getting the necessary training to launch the drone program. In an interview with us earlier this summer, Ben said, “This process through PVCC to have the training done was seamless and done in an efficient way, so the sheriff office wasn’t burdened with a lot of paperwork.”

FastForward makes it easier, not only to earn a credential, but make a difference in your community.

Does Ben’s story hit close to home? Are you a military veteran who is looking to better your career? Be sure to read Nate’s story, a vet who earned his Power Line Worker credential and is keeping the lights on in the Commonwealth.

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