The proliferation of miniaturized sensors embedded in real world objects, such as intelligent buildings, transportation net-works, utility grids, clothing and devices, form what we now call the "Internet of Things" (IoT). The effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment is the foundation of Smart Cities. This platform has the potential to serve first responders by enabling them to sense the environment, collect information and communicate and interact with each other in real time during emergencies. While instant access to information is critical for first responders, so is standardized technology that makes sensors easily and immediately identifiable, usable and useful across all teams and information management platforms involved in an incident response.
To address this need, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) program held a demonstration highlighting the ways in which various proprietary technologies come together to improve communications and situational awareness of first responders in the field. The demonstration integrated a number of physiological monitoring devices, environmental sensors, streaming video from body cameras and unmanned aerial systems (UAS), hybrid communications, wearables and alerting devices during an emergency scenario requiring a coordinated response from law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.