An updated version of a handbook is in the works for first responders and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking for more industry comment and feedback.

The DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released the “Next Generation First Responder Integration Handbook” in February as a guide to industry and public safety agencies on development, design, test and integration of responder technologies.

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“While many first responders across the nation are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, responders are often overburdened with data and stand-alone devices that may not communicate seamlessly with other devices to sufficiently aid in completing their mission,” said Program Manager Norman Speicher. “Responders need smarter technologies that increase their ability to focus on saving lives and protecting our communities.”

To fulfill this capability gap, DHS S&T collaborated with first responders and industry partners to develop a three-part handbook that provides technical recommendations that will enable commercially-developed technologies to integrate with existing first responder infrastructure in a standards-based “plug-and-play” environment. The handbook describes how data from on-body first responder technologies are aggregated to provide additional situational awareness.

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Though the handbook is a publicly released guide, DHS S&T views it as an evolving document and seeks feedback and comment from industry and public safety agencies to improve the level of detail of the technical specifications that will deliver interoperable technology to the first responder marketplace.

“We would like feedback from industry to ensure that the guide will answer their basic technical questions and how to bring their technology into the first responder operational environment,” Speicher said.

Click here to access the handbook.

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