Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, but many of to-day’s first responders still use outdated, inefficient and unreliable equipment. Our nation’s first responders require innovative tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) program is working to make this possible. By leveraging advanced communications systems, drones and wearable technology, and connecting "Internet of Things" (IoT) devices and smart cities, NGFR hopes to equip first responders with the next generation of tools and technologies. The NGFR program envisions an open, plug-and-play and standards-based environment that enables faster, more efficient and safer responses to threats and disasters of all sizes. But in a world of closed proprietary systems, there is no guarantee that disparate technologies will be able to seamlessly share data, or even connect to one another. This is the problem that S&T is trying to address.