Science and Technology First Responders

First Responders

Through the engagement of and partnership with first responders and the emergency preparedness and response community, S&T's First Responders Group (FRG) pursues a better understanding of the response community's needs and requirements, provides technical assistance, and develops innovations to the most pressing challenges faced during day-to-day and large-scale emergencies. These efforts, which help secure the nation through science and technology, are occurring at every stage of technology and solution development, and are involving first responders at the local, state, tribal and federal levels.

First Responder News and Announcements

News iconNew Free S&T App Tracks Locations, Vitals, Keeping First Responders Safe
June 12, 2018
-- S&T funded the development of the Watchtower mobile application, which -- as of February 27, 2018 -- is available, free of charge for all public safety users. The app allows users to track and report their location using the GPS already built into a smartphone.

News iconSAVER: A Responder Resource for Technology Info
May 23, 2018
-- S&T established the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program to assist emergency responders making procurement decisions. Managed by S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory, the SAVER Program conducts operationally oriented assessments and validations on commercial equipment and systems, and provides those results along with other relevant information to the emergency response community.

For a complete listing of First Responder news articles, visit our S&T Responder News page.

Our Mission

Partnering 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

First Responder Publications

First Responder Communities of Practice (FRCoP)

First Responders Communities of Practice circular logo which states: Professional Networking, Collaboration, and CommunicationFirst Responder Communities of Practice is a professional networking, collaboration and communication platform created by the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate to support improved collaboration and information sharing amongst the nation's First Responders and other Federal, State, Tribal, Territorial, and local governments and private sector stakeholders supporting homeland security efforts. This vetted community of members focuses on emergency preparedness, response, recovery and other homeland security issues.

With a FRCoP account, you can:

  • Collaborate on wikis, blogs and discussion boards
  • Find, share and store documents and best practices
  • Create and search profiles
  • Connect, chat, and email with other professionals

To request an account, complete the online form on

Connect with FRG

Keep up with what FRG is doing in the community.


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