DHS S&T Seeks First Responder Technology Solutions in Four Areas
Friday, September 25, 2020 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Operational Experimentation (OpEx) Program wants to evaluate technology solutions for first responders.

The OpEx Program connects homeland security end users, technology innovators and the interagency community to assess cutting-edge technology in operational settings and facilitate technology demonstrations for homeland security operators. The OpEx Program released a request for information (RFI) with four technical topic areas (TTAs) to identify interest for participation in a potential demonstration activity to be conducted by the OpEx Program for state and local first responders.

The four TTAs included in the RFI are:
• Remote monitoring of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA): The solution will allow those outside the immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) environment to monitor the status of responders’ SCBAs. This will provide the incident commander (IC) with knowledge of the SCBA status for each responder in the IDLH location.
• Backup emergency alerting systems for strategic command, control, communications and coordination (C4): The solution will provide a rapid, reliable way to notify the public when power and communications have failed or been destroyed.
• Voice assistance system: The solution will function as an on-demand, voice-activated public-safety assistant that can be worn on the body and/or mounted on or around a vehicle’s interior to provide a distraction-free environment for first responders to better concentrate and carry out the duties at hand.
• Crowd Count Analysis: The solution will have the ability to determine and monitor counts, movement, location and status of a crowd to help manage an event.

“First responders have limited, if any, avenues within their own departments to voice their research and development needs,” said Greg Price, first responder portfolio manager for DHS S&T. “DHS S&T, through the First Responder Portfolio, has provided an avenue for the past decade that gives first responders the opportunity to relay their requirement for operational technologies that help them perform their jobs faster, safer and quicker, and ultimately save lives. To date, the first responder portfolio has transitioned 22 technologies to the commercial marketplace for first responders to purchase, based on requirements these frontline heroes have provided.”

Interested industry partners have until 4:00 p.m. EDT on October 12, 2020, to submit a response to the RFI to have their products considered for participation. The RFI is open to industry, academia, federally funded research and development centers, government agencies, and other organizations with innovative first responder technology solutions ready for demonstration. Solutions must be at Technology Readiness Level 7 or above. The demonstration will allow vendors to receive first responder user feedback for their technologies.

For more information on the RFI, find more information here.

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