first responders

October 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Interoperable sensors deployed across a city can feed information to first responders, improving disaster response efforts.

Homeland security researchers are defining the specifications for a central hub device that will protect, connect and inform the next generation of first responders and may be one step toward a miniature Internet of Things designed specifically for emergencies. The hub may be a personal cellphone that will provide a customizable feed of voice, video and data from an array of Internet of Things sensors, enhancing response efforts and ultimately saving lives.

August 8, 2016
The Department of Homeland Security has made the Next-Generation Incident Command System globally available.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS), an information sharing tool for first responders, is now available worldwide.

August 1, 2016

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $8,688,675 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for software. Contractor will provide research, develop, demonstrate and deliver a PHOENIX software system that allows first responders to entirely disconnect a non-cooperative organization from its network infrastructure and then selectively reform on a separate secure emergency network. Work will be performed at Burlington, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by July 29, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 70 offers received.

May 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
FirstNet proposes a three-in-one network architecture that augments the terrestrial network system with the use of satellite and mobile deployable communications systems for coverage in rural and remote areas.

Broadband satellite connectivity has moved up to become a key element of emergency response support. The failure of other communications networks from damage caused by catastrophic disasters has compelled local and state governments to work with their federal counterparts on establishing satellite connectivity under the worst of conditions.

When sections of the Northeast were devastated in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the Atlantic season that year, nearly 80 percent of the cellular services went down. This left millions of people without any way to communicate for several days—not just with loved ones, but also with state and federal agencies to seek help.

January 8, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Fire, police and emergency medical personnel in New Jersey will have access to a dedicated first responder network established to ensure priority access and resiliency during natural disasters or attacks.

PMC Associates, Oceus Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications are collaborating to create the JerseyNet project, said to be the first public safety-grade mobile 4G LTE broadband network. It will give first responders a secure, sustainable deployable network that can deliver remote, mobile capabilities mounted on varying platforms, from towable trailers to sport utility vehicles and vans.

August 19, 2011

A science-based software tool for the iPad allows first responders to learn from models of building damage and other conditions that occur after a disaster. Developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping and Integration Toolkit (SUMMIT) enables firefighters, medics and police officers to visualize damaged buildings. The tool will allow them to tap into existing models that feature details of buildings, infrastructure and casualties. During exercises, it will visualize an integrated scenario and make it available to all participants in a master control cell.

November 10, 2010
By George Seffers

Harris Corporation recently received a $14 million contract from the State of Vermont to deploy a statewide radio system for public safety first responders and state agencies. The system meets Vermont's specific requirements for regional and cross-border communications - connecting local, state and federal agencies within the state, and providing interoperability with agencies in neighboring states and Canada. The Project 25 standards-based system will be built on Harris Voice, Interoperability, Data, Access network technology, an Internet Protocol-based interoperable radio communications technology that fully complies with emerging standards.

February 3, 2010
By Katie Packard

Today was an exciting day at West 2010--and I'm not talking about the dynamic speakers and exhibitors. This morning my hotel had a small fire somewhere near the lobby, so I woke up before my alarm because of the loud, persistent sirens coming in through my window. Fortunately the situation was handled quickly and easily--thanks to San Diego's finest first responders. Unfortunately, I saw those first responders this afternoon after a medical emergency occurred on the exhibit floor.