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Homeland Security

First Responders Group

Operational Field Assessment Operating GloveThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) Support to the Homeland Security Enterprise and First Responders Group (FRG) strengthens the response community's abilities to protect the homeland and respond to disasters.

Through the engagement of, and partnership with first responders and the emergency preparedness and response community at every stage, and at the local, state, tribal and federal level, FRG pursues a better understanding of the response community's needs and requirements, provides technical assistance and develops innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges faced during day-to-day and large-scale emergencies.


In close partnership with first responders at all levels, FRG identifies, validates and facilitates the fulfillment of needs through the use of existing and emerging technologies, knowledge products and standards. Prioritized areas of FRG focus and initiatives include:

  • Making first responders safer
  • Helping first responders share data and critical information
  • Helping first responders communicate through interoperability
  • Engaging, communicating and partnering with first responders

FRG Divisions

National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL): NUSTL tests, evaluates and analyzes homeland security capabilities while serving as a technical authority to first responder, state and local entities in protecting our cities. NUSTL leads and provides independent federal oversight for test programs, pilots, demonstrations and other forms of evaluations of homeland security capabilities both in the field and in the laboratory.

Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC): OIC provides local, tribal, state and federal stakeholders with the tools, technologies, methodologies and guidance to enable improved communications interoperability at all levels of government. OIC manages a comprehensive research, development, testing, evaluation and standards program to enhance emergency interoperable communications and improve alerts and warnings.

First Responder Technologies (R-Tech): R-Tech rapidly disseminates technology information on products and services to local, tribal, state and federal agencies and private sector entities in order to encourage technological innovation and facilitate the mission of the DHS. R-Tech provides information, resources and technology solutions that address mission capability gaps identified by the emergency response community.

System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER): DHS established the SAVER program to assist emergency responders in making procurement decisions. The SAVER program conducts objective assessments and validations of commercial equipment and systems and provides those results along with other relevant equipment information to the response community.

Read more about our projects.

Contact FRG.

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