Science and Technology First Responders

First Responders

First responders are often the primary line of defense for U.S. communities, responding to an evolving spectrum of natural and man-made threats. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) works closely with first responders across jurisdictions and disciplines to improve their safety and effectiveness.First Responders use a medical skid to evacuate a passenger on passenger from the metro.

S&T works hand-in-hand with members of all first responder disciplines -- law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services and emergency management officials, as well as innovators and industry -- to develop capabilities that:

  • Make first responders safer
  • Improve communication tool security and effectiveness
  • Enhance data and information sharing during daily, emergency or joint operations
  • Promote and sustain partnerships with responders and responder organizations across the nation at all levels
  • Help investigate cybercrime and cases involving digital evidence
  • Secure 911 emergency call systems from cyberattacks

S&T holistically examines responder technology and capability needs and safety requirements. Starting with first responder uniforms and working outward, S&T helps first responders integrate sensors that monitor their health, location and safety, as well as improve uniforms' protective properties. S&T develops first responder technologies and conducts market surveys and assessments to help responder organizations make informed buying decisions. From ensuring interoperability to improving connectivity and capabilities, S&T’s programs and projects also encompass the communications spectrum.

S&T strives to identify first responder needs, identify existing technology, and work with the development community and industry to provide solutions that improve effectiveness, efficiency and safety.

No emergency is standard. S&T strengthens first responder capabilities in daily operations and in response to critical incidents and catastrophic events and modern criminal investigations.

Current Projects and Programs

Available Technologies

S&T maintains a growing list of transitioned technologies that were all imagined and field-tested by first responders across the country and are now available for agencies and other members of the Homeland Security Enterprise to procure.

Additional Resources

The following resources will provide more information about some of our projects. In addition to the resources listed below, please visit

Videos

News

Questions? Email us at first.responder@hq.dhs.gov.

For more information on how to work with us visit our Business Opportunities page or review our Industry Guide.

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