First Responders

What responders really want from their tech

Communications technology is going to sit on the shelf if it’s not reliable, interoperable and user friendly.

NIST cooks up modified yeast for responder biothreat training

The yeast reference material has qualities similar to harmful biological agents, enabling first responders to practice detecting biothreats.

Delivering emergency alerts to vehicle infotainment systems

Drivers may soon receive real-time emergency and fire alerts and improved evacuation routing on their vehicles' infotainment systems.

All eyes on the FCC as deadline for 911 overhaul approaches

By enforcing its z-axis requirements and moving toward nationwide deployment, the Federal Communications Commission can fundamentally transform national emergency response.

Sensor array maps a first responder's location, movements

A prototype developed at MIT can automatically map a hazardous environment as a responder moves through it.

My other car is a smart phone

Cisco wants to network and IP-enable vehicles, which could be a boon for emergency response crews, among others.

Cloud mapping tools to aid first responders during disasters

Esri's GIS public information maps will be made accessible on Microsoft's cloud-based disaster portal.

Unified comm is the next step in 911's evolution

The FCC and Transportation Department are working to establish a transition path to the next generation of 911 services.

DHS R&D program has a disconnect with first responders' needs, House panel told

The department has a program to help develop technology for first responders, but matching the money with state and local agencies' requirements has proved difficult.

Crash analytics: How data can help eliminate highway deaths

Highway safety groups' strategy, called Toward Zero Deaths, is ambitious, but data analytics combined with the "Four Es" make it possible.

DARPA's $40K 'quest' tests social media's ability to help in emergency

The CLIQR Quest Challenge asks participants to use their social media skills to locate QR codes that represent resources crews would need in an emergency.

Emergency alert system expands to mobile phones

The Commercial Mobile Alert System, a national network for delivering emergency notices to phones by text, is scheduled to be operational in April.

TSA piggybacks on Coast Guard emergency alert systems

When the Transportation Security Administration needed to upgrade its emergency alert system, it opted to use the system already in place for its sister agency the Coast Guard.

In case of emergency, send text (fire crews will get there sooner)

The Farmington, N.M., Fire Department uses the Remote Print Manager to translate dispatch data into text messages, adding a quick, reliable channel for emergency response.

Emergency text response: When alerts become spam

Text messaging is an effective aid to emergency dispatching for one New Mexico fire department, but you should be careful not to abuse the service.

FCC shoots down LightSquared's plans for satellite network

Ruling comes after NTIA report concludes there is "no practical way" to solve the problem of GPS interference at the moment.

FBI wants social media intell scanner

The Web-based tool would scan social media sites and commercial news outlets to help stay ahead of unfolding crises.