Experts in the emergency management space have called on the Federal Government to embrace the introduction of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) otherwise known as drones in saving lives threatened by flood ravaging different parts of the country.
Speaking at the emergency rescue airlift 2022 forum tagged: ‘Airlift Assistance for flood affected areas’, the experts said flooding has become a major issue for Nigerians, rendering thousands homeless and millions displaced.
To avoid such reoccurrence in Lagos State, they recommended the introduction of HEMS and (UAVs).
The summit, put together in collaboration with Airbus Helicopter, HEMS academy, Corpuls and Kasi Doctor with support from the Lagos State government, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Legend Lagos Airport and EAN Aviation, focused on ways to rescue flood victims in emergency cases.
The summit created a window for experts to examine the advantages and possibilities that airlift and helicopter emergency services present and the newer technologies that should be adopted like UAVs (drones) that will enable the rescue crew to locate victims who have called for immediate help.
Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Dr Moboloaji Dadi, said the summit was an opportunity for public and private organisations to adopt best global practices that will be for the good of the public.
He said: ” As flood waters rise, we will need the latest technology to pinpoint the affected areas and analyze the impact. Technologies such as earth observation satellites and unnamed aerial vehicles (UAVs) are beginning to be used to capture data from floods to generate useful digital products for insurers and adjusters.”
Head Support and Services Airbus Helicopters Ralf Nicolai mentioned how Germany, Austria and even South Africa battled flooding helicopter and airlift services recently.
Ralf said that helicopters and drones are the new solutions for immediate responses. Making reference to the traffic situation in Lagos and how ambulances might not get to the victims’ destination in time, he said helicopters should be the new normal as it will prove to be the most efficient for emergency situations in the country.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Evergreen Aviation Nigeria Segun Demuren said that helicopter services added to the other ground or road services is development because it affords people multiple choices during emergency.