New technologies are developed every day to enhance responder performance and safety, but are they durable? Will they perform under pressure? That’s what the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) wants to ensure.
NUSTL, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), serves first responders and emergency managers throughout metropolitan areas in the country, helping to solve the complex challenges faced by urban responders. The lab evaluates technologies and provides tools and guidance for all state and local first responders to safeguard their communities.
The lab sponsors many programs that serve the first responder community. A prominent program is the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program. Under this program, the NUSTL tests and evaluates the performance of commercially available equipment used by first responders. The reports are included in the SAVER Library to assist emergency responders with their procurement decisions.
NUSTL also conducts operational field assessments of S&T-developed prototype responder technologies before they are transitioned to the commercial market. Laboratory staff undertake test and evaluation and research and development activities for first responder operational equipment and technology needs.
The lab recently released its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021‑2026. The plan outlines measures to increase the overall impact of NUSTL’s work within the first responder community, improve stakeholder awareness of their products and services, and grow and enhance its programs and services to help first responders meet evolving operational needs.