The Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate plans to issue a survey titled, “Understanding Public Perception and Acceptance of First Responders Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” according to a notice posted Tuesday to the Federal Register.

The DHS is interested in learning more about how the public views the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical missions.

First responder organizations have used UAS to search for lost children, identify high risk areas in burning structures, facilitate relief operations following hurricanes, reduce risk and exposure for law enforcement officers in active-shooter events, and many other situations.

The primary purpose of the survey is to understand the public perception of and identify concerns with current and potential uses of UAS technology by first responders.

The survey will ask respondents to report their demographic characteristics, their knowledge of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), their knowledge of the use of UAS by first responders, their overall trust in the use of new technologies by the government and first responders, their general attitudes about such use, and their opinions about the use of drones by first responders for specific applications like search-and-rescue.

The survey will also ask respondents to evaluate the effectiveness of different test messages that we have created to deliver information to the public about first responder drone applications.

Comments are encouraged and accepted until July 9, 2020.