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Thermal imaging target

Use Case- Hidden Suspect

USE CASE - Hidden Suspect

Scenario Overview:
In this emergency scenario, peace officers are summoned to investigate a report of a suspicious person behind a strip mall. This scenario requires officers to respond with caution, assess the situation, and take appropriate actions to ensure public safety.

Scenario Details:



  • The incident occurs behind a strip mall, which includes various retail stores and restaurants.

  • Time of the incident: Late evening, limited visibility.

Incident Description:

  • A concerned citizen has reported a suspicious person loitering behind the strip mall.

  • The reporting party noticed the individual behaving erratically and possibly tampering with a rear door.

Response Actions:

  1. Dispatch and Initial Response (dispatch officer):

    • Receive and acknowledge the call.

    • Relay critical information to responding officers, including the caller's description of the suspicious person.

  2. Initial Assessment (first responding officer):

    • Approach the scene cautiously, ensuring personal safety.

    • Observe the area for any signs of criminal activity.

    • Look for the reported suspicious person and their behavior.

  3. Communication and Backup (first responding officer):

    • Maintain radio contact with dispatch and request backup units if necessary.

    • Provide updates on the situation, location, and the number of individuals involved.

  4. Engagement and Contact (responding officers):

    • Identify and make contact with the suspicious person.

    • Assess their demeanor, ask questions, and request identification if appropriate.

    • Consider the possibility of mental health issues or intoxication.

  5. Scene Security (responding officers):

    • Maintain a safe perimeter around the strip mall.

    • Ensure the safety of bystanders and other officers on scene.

    • Communicate the presence of any potential hazards.

  6. Search and Investigation (investigating officer):

    • Search the immediate area for any evidence of criminal activity.

    • Interview witnesses and gather statements to corroborate the report.

    • Assess the suspicious person's intentions and actions.

  7. De-escalation and Resolution (responding officers):

    • Attempt to de-escalate the situation through verbal communication.

    • Determine if the suspicious person poses a threat or if they require assistance.

    • Consider appropriate actions, such as arrest, detention, or referral to mental health services.

  8. Documentation and Reporting (reporting officer):

    • Document all relevant information, including witness statements and actions taken.

    • Prepare an incident report for future reference and potential legal proceedings.

  9. Follow-Up (supervisor or detective):

    • If necessary, assign a detective or follow-up officer to conduct a more thorough investigation.

    • Monitor the situation to ensure the safety and security of the area.

Conclusion: This emergency scenario requires personnel to respond to a report of a suspicious person behind a strip mall. The response should prioritize officer safety, public safety, and the investigation of the reported incident. Effective communication, assessment, and de-escalation techniques are essential in handling such situations.

AFRS Thermal example of retail hidden suspect:
How could AFRS fire pilots compliment this scenario?

Office Safety
AFRS firefighter pilots have extensive training in locating missing persons and animals.   With our public safety grade robotics, we can rapidly search an area while mitigating the risk to officer safety of searching dark locations.

Interagency Communication
Unlike private drone pilots, AFRS maintains a contract with MARCS.  Where MARCS allows your dispatch center and field staff to easily communicate with responding agencies like AFRS.

Rapid Response
AFRS dispatch can send our closest firefighter drone pilot to your scene.   Where are plan out or staging zones with a 30 minute or less response time.   Due to AFRS operating as a fire department, we can respond in emergent mode depending on your situation.  This is due to our strategic coverage areas and preplanning measures.

Enhanced Visual Capability
In the daylight, AFRS can see nearly a mile away with our visual cameras.   While the above video clearly demonstrates the benefits of thermal imaging in dark environments.

Thermal Imaging
AFRS's thermal imaging technology can easily spot suspects hiding in the woods, under vehicles, and various other situations.   Once our pilot locates the suspect, our lasers tell us the exact coordinates of the suspect on the earth.

This allows your team to simply enter the coordinates into their mobile phone and be guided directly to the suspect.

Effective Public Address System
If the ground team determines that the situation is unsafe to approach, AFRS can utilize our drone mounted speaker system with LRAD technology to broadcast messages to the suspect.

If this scene leads to a canine being deployed, we can make broadcast messages to innocent persons to remain indoors.

All-Weather Equipment
AFRS employs enterprise-level public safety drones capable of operating in various weather conditions, including rain, snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures.

Continuous Flight Time

Each AFRS pilot carries sufficient batteries and onboard mobile charging to maintain near-continuous flight. Quick battery swaps allow for a 45-second downtime between flights.

Seamless Collaboration

AFRS vehicles are equipped with redundant internet connections, utilizing Firstnet and other data providers. This ensures secure streaming of content to incident command staff and stakeholders anywhere in the world.

Documentation and Review
All drone footage is recorded for post-incident analysis. Detailed video timestamps and coordinates enable easy documentation of important milestones.

This data can prove to be valuable for reimbursement from insurance companies or for court purposes.

Chain of Custody
AFRS uses tried and true methods of preserving data integrity that complies with chain of custody concerns for peace officer organizations.   Where this tactic has stood the test of various US courts.

Training Resources
Archived videos remain accessible for years after the incident. This valuable resource allows your team to incorporate real-life scenarios into future training sessions and benefits first responders worldwide.


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YOU MATTER! Join AFRS and Make a Difference ​ At AFRS, we believe that many hands make light work, and your talents and wisdom can help us provide amazing emergency services to those in need. ​ We take pride in offering remote-friendly opportunities, respecting the time you dedicate to others. In many cases, you can volunteer from the comfort of your home. ​ Please note that all volunteers are subject to background checks and license verification where applicable.   Interested persons should send their resume and cover letter to ​ ​ Current Volunteer Positions Available: ​ BOARD MEMBERS Our bylaws require all board members to have active/retired experience in Fire, EMS, peace officers, military, or be actively employed by a national infrastructure organization (hospital, transportation, utilities, etc). ​ Board members should be able to: Effectively communicate Work remotely Participate in committees Promote AFRS Attend monthly meetings (remotely) ​ Board members can expect: Regular email communication Attendance at monthly online board meetings Acting in the best interest of AFRS Occasional attendance at functions or group meetings with AFRS customers/vendors Minimum term of office: 3 years The ideal candidate for this position would have prior board experience and uphold high moral standards. FIREFIGHTERS AFRS relies on Ohio certified firefighters to operate our public safety grade drones. Fire pilots should be able to: Perform regular firefighter duties.  - Waivers may be possible in some cases Work remotely without direct supervision Attend monthly meetings (remotely) Operate electronic devices and computers Hold an active Fire 1/2 certification Hold or obtain an FAA 107 pilot's license with night ops certification Have a clean driving record and valid driver's license Function in high-stress environments and dynamic situations ​ Fire pilots can expect: 12-hour shifts (0600-1800 or 1800-0600) No more than 36 hours of volunteer/work per week Exposure to elements and dynamic situations Rewarding training and experiences Life insurance and LOD benefits Disability/injury benefits Remote-friendly environment in many cases Leadership buy-in and genuine appreciation Live drone prophecy test ​ The ideal candidate for this position would be a certified firefighter who holds a FAA 107 license and NFPA 2400 training. ​ Considerations will be made to train up the right candidates to become drone pilots and obtain their NFPA 2400 training. ​ Candidates should also be passionate about their community and eager to learn new technologies that enhance public safety. ​ ​ DISPATCHERS AFRS recognizes the vital role that dispatchers play in our success. They are the "voice" that enables amazing things to happen within our organization. ​ AFRS dispatchers have the ability to work from home anywhere in the United States. ​ Dispatchers should be able to: Effectively communicate via voice, text, and email Have moderate or advanced computer skills Work alone and unsupervised without micro-management Adhere to policies and procedures Provide a stable/reliable internet connection from home Provide a stable/reliable Windows PC, Chromebook, or Android tablet Maintain a quiet background when handling telephone or radio activities Utilize web-based tools such as Google Maps, Open Maps, weather apps, chat, video conference, and others ​ Dispatchers can expect: Flexible shifts that suit your availability No more than 36 hours per week Fast-paced and rewarding environment Communicating with other government agencies on recorded lines Remote-friendly environment for anyone based in the US Leadership that truly values your contributions Making a difference in others' lives and enhancing community safety Regular training and one-on-one mentoring ​ Ideal candidates for this position include individuals passionate about serving the public and eager to learn new skills. ​ ​ SOCIAL MEDIA / VIDEO EDITING AFRS's emergency robotics capture a vast amount of data, including photos and videos that may need to be processed for marketing, fundraising, and training purposes. ​ This remote-friendly position is open to volunteers anywhere in the United States. ​ Social media volunteers should be able to: Perform post-processing of video content Interact with various social media platforms (TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) Process messages and respond professionally Review statistical data from each social media platform and relay trends to leadership Create slideshows or collections for gallery display or training purposes Resize, edit, crop, and alter images and video Attend monthly membership meetings Accomplish tasks without direct supervision ​ Social media volunteers can expect: Flexible schedules that fit your life No more than 36 hours per week Team environment Remote-friendly - Work from home ​ Interested persons should send their resume and cover letter to

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