Harry Packer of SCHILLER Australia witnessed history being made earlier this week when he attended the very first UAV Pilot Graduation Ceremony in Port Macquarie on Tuesday.
The Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaving Unmanned Aerial Training School is Australia’s first training school for people to operate drones, and on Tuesday morning they presented 12 graduates with their ‘wings’, including the academy’s first qualified female UAV lifesaver Pilot.
The new age Pilots have been trained as part of an initiative known as the Little Ripper Lifesaver program, which has a vision to protect beachgoers with drone technology.
The female graduate Toni Hurkett of Port Macquarie, said it was an amazing feeling to qualify for the role.
“The training was a little bit challenging but it was a great opportunity,” the Port Macquarie surf life saving club member said.
"It's just going to open up a whole new world with ways that we can perform rescues and save lives, from quicker access to patients to better emergency response times."
Over the past year, Little Ripper technology has been refined and trialled along the NSW coast, including at home here in Newcastle, where SCHILLER Australia has its headquarters.
The potential of the Westpac Little Ripper and the smaller Mini Ripper is enormous with possible applications such as shark spotting and being able to drop rescue equipment or survival gear to swimmers in distress.
In conjunction with NSW Surf Life Saving & Westpac Bank, SCHILLER Australia are helping to make our beaches safer and rescue missions more effective by providing world leading Automatic External Defibrillators, most commonly known as AEDs.
SCHILLER Australia, and Packer, were recognised at the event for their long term engagement and ongoing support as the Little Ripper program takes off in its own right.Visit the Little Ripper Group’s website for more information on the program and the SCHILLER Australia FRED PA-1 product page to find out more about the AED that is helping to save lives in the surf.