North American drone maker Draganfly is sending its drones to Ukraine to help distribute crucial medical supplies and assist ongoing search and rescue efforts across the country.
Draganfly received an order for 10 North American-made Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones for immediate deployment with Revived Soldiers Ukraine, or RSU. Draganfly is also donating an additional three drone systems to the charity.
Fighting across Ukraine continues to create dangerous conditions for emergency crews trying to provide aid to those in need. Bombings have damaged roads and buildings.
Once it became publicly known that Draganfly’s Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones could quickly and safely provide aid in hotspots, the company immediately began receiving requests from shareholders and business associates who wanted to help, Cameron Chell, the company’s CEO, told The Financial Post.
“Probably the thing that we are most absolutely shocked by is we’ve had a number of shareholders that are now stepping up and saying that they want to buy drones to send over,” Chell said, who added that his company is now creating a portal to handle those requests.
The President of RSU, Iryna Vashchuk Discipio, was recently awarded the Order of Princess Olga by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Ukrainian civil decoration is bestowed on women for their achievements in state, production, scientific, educational, cultural, charity, and other social activities.
In an interview with CBC, Discipio explained that her organization has been bringing wounded Ukrainian soldiers to the U.S. for medical care, and has bases in Florida and Nevada. There was also a rehabilitation center in Ukraine. However, Discipio claimed that it was recently destroyed during the ongoing conflict with Russia.
RSU plans to use Draganfly’s drones to deliver temperature-sensitive medical supplies and life-saving equipment to major Ukrainian cities including Mariupol.
“[Russians] wouldn’t let civilians come out of the city and a lot of civilians got trapped in the basement of the buildings and the hospitals’ basements,” Discipio said. “So we would like to see if we can use those drones to deliver much needed medical aid to those locations.”
The total initial order Draganfly received from RSU is up to 200 units. The order came from Coldchain Delivery Systems, a leader in time and temperature-sensitive medical materials, which will deliver the drones to RSU, Draganfly announced in its press release.
“We are extremely honored to work with RSU and Coldchain Delivery Systems to support those affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Draganfly has a long and proud history of supporting EMS services and humanitarian aid operations globally. Our Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones will help RSU deliver critical supplies, equipment, and visual oversight,” Chell said in the release.
Draganfly’s Medical Response Drone will be equipped with the company’s “innovative” temperature-managed Medical Response Payload Box. According to Draganfly’s press release, the payload box is able to transport up to 35 pounds of temperature-sensitive medical supplies, including blood, pharmaceuticals, insulin/medicines, vaccines, water, and wound care kits.
The medical supplies ferried by the drones will be crucial for saving lives, Discipio said, especially the antibiotics and painkillers that allow hospitals to conduct surgeries.
“Brave Ukrainians continue to fight for freedom, democracy, and the fundamental values and principles of Western civilization,” Discipio said in Draganfly’s press release. “There is an urgent need for medical supplies and equipment in several dangerous and hard-to-reach areas. Draganfly’s Medical Response and Search and Rescue Drones will play a crucial role in ensuring that those affected have access to the aid they require.”
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