Be it in times of peace and prosperity or discord and struggle, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will always support its vital missions—and that includes supporting first responders. Here are just a few highlights from the past year:
- Provided the Reverse Velocity Jet Tamper (ReVJeT), a revolutionary water cannon tool for safely disabling improvised explosive devices, to every bomb squad in America through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hazardous Device School.
- Enabled Rhode Island State Fire Marshal bomb squad to disable a live pipe bomb using the Power Hawk tool developed by the Response and Defeat Operations Support (REDOPS) program. “Our bomb technicians engaged the Power Hawk as a non-energetic means of remotely rendering the pipe bomb safe.” – Deputy Thomas Groff, Rhode Island Bomb Squad Commander
- Transitioned Next-Generation Mass Spectrometry Explosive Trace Detector technology developed for border checkpoint and airport security screening to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for detection of weapons of mass destruction. “S&T's development…has provided a capability for SIGMA+ that would otherwise not have existed.” – Dr. Mark Wrobel, DARPA program manager
- Enhanced rescue helicopter hoist gloves with high-performance fabrics and to better protect responders with special features like increased abrasion resistance, durability, stain resistance, quick-dry and more.
- Launched Social Media for Emergency Managers (SMEM) guidance tool in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to enhance the efficiency of public information dissemination during critical incidents. “It’s easy-to-use, free, automated, web-accessible and mobile.” – Denis Gusty, S&T program manager
- Assessed new Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) law enforcement operations driving skills course to improve officer safety on the road. Compiled data with 600 surveys of 45 students over five weeks.
- Announced grand prize winner in Escape Respirator Prize Challenge to enable safe exit from smoke-filled; oxygen-deficient; and chemical, biological, and radiological environments. “In today’s environment of rapidly-changing technology, S&T is proactively looking for emerging technology to respond to homeland security needs.” – Kathleen Kenyon, DHS Prize Competition lead
- Assessed drones for search and rescue capabilities in three different mission scenarios: lost hiker, post-flood disaster, and during twilight, so first response agencies have access to operational data when purchasing unmanned aircraft systems.