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News Release: DHS S&T Funds Critical Interoperable Messaging Capability for First Responders

News Release: DHS S&T Funds Critical Interoperable Messaging Capability for First Responders

Release Date: 
November 5, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $1,545,286.03 to Mobility 4 Public Safety (M4PS) to advance the development of the Bridge 4 Public Safety (Bridge4PS) messaging and collaborating platform for first responders.

“With no dedicated public safety messaging and collaboration platform, many public safety and emergency response officials are leveraging non-secure, consumer-grade messaging tools,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “S&T recognized the need to have secure, industry-wide interoperability and information sharing, and turned to industry to help solve this challenge.”

Bridge4PS initially launched in 2019 as a Proof-of-Concept (POC) with funding from DHS S&T to study the demand and feasibility of a secure and interoperable public safety platform. Tested in Houston and Los Angeles, early adoption significantly exceeded expectations and DHS authorized the expansion of Bridge4PS to the rest of the country.

“Collectively, we worked hard to bring Bridge4PS, an innovative collaboration tool dedicated to providing first responders the ability to work more efficiently, to reality,” said Norman Speicher, DHS S&T program manager. “The secure platform supports multi-agency collaboration with features that include messaging, sharing multimedia files, and video conferencing to communicate in real-time with the goal of increasing first responders’ own safety and saving more lives simultaneously.”

Although Bridge4PS was designed to meet the security, availability, and scalability requirements of the public safety market, the platform needs compliance certifications to maximize usability and adoption across the broad public safety user base. “We can now concentrate our attention on obtaining compliance certifications,” said Speicher.

Bridge4PS is available to all eligible public safety and support practitioners in the United States and its territories. Eligibility criteria can be found at https://www.bridge4ps.com/eligibility. All eligible public safety and support practitioners can sign up for a basic account at no cost. Users can upgrade their accounts to take advantage of enhanced features.

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