We often take for granted the simple act of walking into a store and buying the latest technology. First responders, on the other hand, can’t always upgrade their assets so easily.
Years of work go into each innovation, starting with a thorough needs assessment, moving through the testing process, and eventually getting rolled out across the nation. Next week, the Science and Technology Directorate is hosting two events that highlight how the first responder community develops some of the innovative technologies they need to address increasingly complex threats.
The first event will be a Facebook Live broadcast from the 2016 Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 15, 2016. S&T will host a round table discussion of capability gaps facing the next generation of first responders. We are looking for input from end-users, industry partners, academic institutions, and international teammates to help identify what future capacities we should start investing in today. Since we will be monitoring the live broadcast, I encourage you to submit questions as you watch the discussion. You might provide the crucial insight we need for the next stage of first responder technology.
The second event will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday, August 15, 2016. S&T will conduct a Facebook Town Hall to discuss recent progress being made in simulation-based training for firefighters. The University of Central Florida Institute for Simulation and Training partnered with the Orange County, Florida Fire Rescue Department to create a new incident command training that could help firefighters better prepare for real-world response. S&T is similarly committed to enhancing first responder training, and we are excited to help bring this vital conversation to our national audience. I hope you’ll join the virtual discussion and discover how you might be able to build on the success of these teams.
You can participate in both of these great events through the DHS S&T Facebook page. I look forward to seeing the discussions, and thank you for your help in developing the next phase of first responder technologies.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology