In my recent blog posts, I’ve been talking about how we are meeting with responders to understand their needs, and how we are conducting demonstrations with first responder technologies. It is important to note that behind the scenes, before all of this can happen, we rely on the support of lawmakers in Congress to advocate for us.
The very development of the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is thanks to lawmakers who established the department’s R&D arm in 2003. Fast forward 13 years—lawmakers are still a key part of the team effort to develop and deliver solutions to front line operators. We truly couldn’t do what we do for responders without their support.
That’s why I brought my team to Capitol Hill last week for the First Responder Technology Hill Day where we showed Congressional representatives how we are helping responders across the country. I am so grateful that New York Representative Dan Donovan, who is the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, hosted the event and allowed us to showcase our technologies.
Having Members of Congress, their staff, and first responders see, touch and use the technologies brought them to life better than any presentation could. I was so pleased that Texas Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, along with Virginia Representative Morgan Griffith stopped by to take part in hands-on demonstrations.
We featured technologies like protective clothing for firefighters that increases protection from extreme heat from wildfires, improved training tools for explosive detection canines, and the Taurus robot, which we developed to respond to incidents like a truck or car bomb. I hope you will check out our other featured technologies on our !
First Responder Hill Day was a great opportunity for S&T’s scientists and engineers and their partners in industry to show how we are addressing the many challenges responders face on a daily basis in an effort to keep America safe. I am proud of how our team is helping those who protect our communities and thankful for our members of Congress who have stood with us time and again as we strive to meet our mission and the mission of the department.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology