Newswise — Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) wants to evaluate technology solutions for first responders. S&T released today a Request for Information (RFI) for participation in the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) – Harris County Operational Experimentation (OpEx). The OpEx will take place December 3 -7, 2018, at the Port of Houston in Houston, Texas, and will integrate first responder technologies to enhance the mission-response capabilities of Houston-area responders and the U.S. Coast Guard.
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 March 30, 2018.
Responses should be focused on 10 key capability gaps identified in the RFI, including sensors, data analytics tools and interfaces with computer-aided dispatch systems. Solutions must be at Technology Readiness Level 6 or above. The government does not intend to make a contract award based on this RFI, but will seek to enter a Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with each manufacturer, vendor or non-public entity selected to participate in the NGFR – Harris County OpEx.
“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,” said DHS S&T Program Manager Sridhar Kowdley. “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.”
During the NGFR – Harris County OpEx, S&T will evaluate how DHS-developed technologies, commercial technologies and legacy public safety systems integrate using open standards, and how those integrated capabilities increase responder safety and efficiency. DHS S&T will work with FirstNet to assess user experience of priority and preemption capabilities of participating partners.
The OpEx builds directly upon the success of the 2017 Grant County – DHS S&T NGFR Technology Experiment, which tested the integration of physiological and location sensors, situational awareness systems, drones, datacasting, and deployable communications into a cohesive public safety solution.