The North Carolina Volunteer Rescue Pilots (NCVRP) united in 2021 following years of individual member experience. The group can trace its root back to the start of aviation operations with the Wake Forest Fire Department (WFFD).
WFFD began drone operations in 2014 and airplane operations in 2019. Steve Rhode is the Chief Pilot of the WFFD. He is also the former Chief Pilot of the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy, a public safety drone expert author, and a public safety writer for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
The WFFD and Steve have conducted a number of public safety operations over the years. Daryl Cash, Andrew Albert, and Steve Rhode of the WFFD conducted humanitarian relief flights and received an award for the effort.
We have also conducted aerial drone and airplane operations for a number of fire and police departments and state agencies like the North Carolina Department of Transportation and North Carolina Emergency Management.
With the advent of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones), the WFFD has been an active participant in the knowledge and education of public safety pilots in all sorts of agencies.
The group is comprised of public safety aviation members to help support all North Carolina public safety agencies (fire, rescue, EMS, and law enforcement) with aviation assistance.
With the assistance of North Carolina public safety agencies and exceptional group members, we hope to show how manned and unmanned aircraft can play a combined role in helping people.