FEMA photo – photo by Jessica Stapf

DHS S&T Calls for First Responder Technology Solutions for Operational Experimentation

DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate has put out a call for first responder technology solutions to be used in an OpEx at Harris County.

The OpEx will take place Dec. 3-7, 2018, at the Port of Houston in Texas, and will integrate first-responder technologies to enhance the mission-response capabilities of Houston-area responders and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The request for information 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 to make responders better protected, connected and fully aware.

The RFI includes 10 key capability gaps that responses should focus on, including sensors, data analytics tools and interfaces with computer-aided dispatch systems. Solutions should be Technology Readiness Level 6 or above, according to DHS’s Research and Development Product Realization Guide.

During the OpEx, which follows on from a successful experiment in Grant County, DHS S & T will evaluate how technologies integrate, how integrated capabilities increase responder safety and efficiency and it will work with FirstNet to assess user experience.

“First responders protect our communities every day, and often do so with no more than a radio and a uniform. Commercial technology is advancing at a remarkable pace, and it’s time for public safety to leverage those advancements – but to do that, integration is essential,” DHS S&T Program Manager Sridhar Kowdley said. “During this OpEx, we want to prove that diverse responder technologies can be integrated using open standards and that integrated capabilities increase first responder safety and effectiveness.”

For more information on this RFI, the DHS S&T Next Generation First Responder Apex program, or future DHS S&T solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/NGFR or contact NGFR@hq.dhs.gov.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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