The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) wants to assess new technology solutions for first responders. On February 11, S&T released a Request for Information (RFI) for participation in the Next Generation First Responder(NGFR) – Birmingham Shaken Fury Operational Experimentation (OpEx) scheduled for the week of August 5, 2019, in Birmingham, Alabama.
“First responders across the nation rely heavily on the technology they use to respond to emergencies,” said William N. Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “To fulfill their mission, their technology must be innovative and interoperable, and exercises like this OpEx help us to evaluate the latest innovations to meet mission requirements.”
The OpEx will integrate first responder technologies to enhance the mission-response capabilities of Birmingham-area responders and regional partners prior to the city hosting the anticipated World Games 2021. To expand regional impact on community resilience, the OpEx is aligned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Shaken Fury 2019 exercise in June 2019.
The RFI, posted on FedBizOpps, is open to industry, academia, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, government agencies, and other organizations with innovative first responder technology solutions ready for testing and evaluation. DHS S&T is specifically seeking technologies that provide on-body, incident area, agency-wide or cross-jurisdictional capabilities that make responders better protected, connected and fully aware.
The deadline for submitting applications is February 28, 2019.
Applicants should focus on the nine key capability gaps identified in the RFI, including sensors, responder and resource tracking systems, and situational awareness platforms. Solutions must be at Technology Readiness Level 7 or above. The government does not intend to make a contract award based on this RFI, but will seek to enter a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with each manufacturer, vendor or non-public entity selected to participate in the NGFR – Birmingham Shaken Fury OpEx.
”During the NGFR – Birmingham Shaken Fury OpEx, S&T will evaluate how DHS-developed technologies, commercial technologies, and existing public safety systems integrate using open standards, and how those integrated capabilities increase responder safety and efficiency,” said S&T program manager Cuong Luu.
The OpEx builds directly upon the success of the December 2018 NGFR – Harris County OpEx, which tested responder and patient physiological monitoring sensors, indoor location tracking, HAZMAT sensors, smart alerting for responders and incident command, advanced data analytics, and situational awareness and collaboration dashboards.
This OpEx will be one of four major activities DHS S&T is sponsoring in the FEMA Shaken Fury 2019 exercise. This overall exercise will simulate the response and recovery to a 7.7 magnitude earthquake scenario near Memphis, Tennessee. The goal of DHS S&T’s involvement is to improve the region’s collective capacity to respond and recover from significant events.