The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Next Generation First Responder program started with a list of 14 technology priorities chosen by first responders. The First Responder Resource Group (FRRG) is a multi-disciplinary group of responders established by S&T to provide input and feedback to support the First Responders Group development efforts. The InterAgency Board (IAB) is a federally chartered advisory group of federal, state and local emergency responders. Together, FRRG and IAB, in addition to individual first responders, contributed to the list of priorities that address capability gaps in response.
These needs, priorities and capability gaps were documented in Project Responder 4: 2014 National Technology Plan for Emergency Response to Catastrophic Incidents. Project Responder 4 is the result of focus group discussions that included more than 250 federal, state and local first responders, responder associations, industry, academia and the National Laboratories’ technical subject matter experts.
Today, FRRG serves as a mechanism for continuous dialogue and the coordination of research, development and delivery of technology solutions to first responders and the emergency preparedness and response community. More than 120 responders from around the country participate in FRRG. They identify, validate and facilitate the fulfillment of first responder needs through the use of existing and emerging technologies, knowledge products and standards.
This May at the FRRG Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, responders will delve deeper into the prioritized list of capability gaps identified in the Project Responder 4 report. Individual FRRG members also will submit new capability gaps – such as countering unmanned aircraft or wearable body cameras that permit officers to focus their attention on the task at hand – for consideration.