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News Release: DHS S&T Awards Applied Research Associates, Inc. $649K to Enhance First Responder Roadway Safety

News Release: DHS S&T Awards Applied Research Associates, Inc. $649K to Enhance First Responder Roadway Safety

Release Date: 
August 12, 2016

For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently awarded a 24-month project for $648,880 to Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico to develop a technology solution to reduce the risk of emergency responders being struck by vehicles while operating on roadways.

“Responders of all disciplines place themselves at risk every day, particularly when on the scene at a roadway incident,” said Dr. Robert Griffin, DHS Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology—himself a former first responder. “Whether at a traffic stop, a vehicle blaze, or on a medical call, responders in law enforcement, the fire service, and emergency medical response need to be confident that they can focus on the task at hand without compromising their own safety.”

S&T’s work with ARA will take a two-pronged approach to maximize responder visibility: (1) enhance personal protective equipment to send Bluetooth alerts of oncoming vehicles; and, (2) reduce driver distraction, glare, or temporary blindness/brightness caused from emergency vehicle lighting. Both approaches will also include detection of vehicles going off course that could potentially hit emergency responders or their vehicles.

“While this effort is first and foremost about responder safety, the importance of this new technology extends to our communities at-large,” said Dr. Angela Ervin, program manager in S&T’s First Responders Group. “The goal here is to seamlessly integrate cutting-edge technology into existing gear and equipment to reduce the number of responder and civilian fatalities.”

In fall 2015, DHS S&T’s First Responders Group (FRG) requested proposals from vendors with rapid technology solutions to help solve critical capability gaps identified by first responders across the country. This is one of several related awards that FRG has announced in the past few months related to that solicitation.

For more information about this award, FRG technology development or future FRG solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/first-responders or contact first.responder@hq.dhs.gov.

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