Rich Gatanis began his career in 2003 as a Firefighter/EMT with Southern Manatee Fire Rescue located in Manatee County, Florida. In 2015, Rich took on the role of UAS Coordinator at SMFR by creating a UAS program within his agency. Since then, SMFR has become a national leader in developing and implementing policy and best practices for UAS response in hazardous materials and special operations. His innovative and forward thinking led him to develop a device that allows a drone to carry chemical, gas, and radiation detectors into an area to remotely monitor the air in real time using onboard camera systems.
Rich’s passion for UAS in public safety led him to join the team at FLYMOTION which is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. FLYMOTION is a leader in the UAS industry and works closely with many of the public safety agencies across the country to develop drone programs and provide equipment. Rich has trained dozens of agencies across the country and abroad. His knowledge of policy, training and UAS regulations has helped him assist those agencies in creating their own internal policies and protocols.
During the record hurricane season of 2017, Rich was part of the largest pre-deployment of UAS assets in disaster response history. Rich serves as the UAS Operations Manager at FLYMOTION where he was instrumental in the pre-deployment of 22 flight teams across the State of Florida during Hurricane Irma. His teams flew over 650 missions and covered over 550 miles.