DHS S&T Launches Prize Competition for Tracking First Responders Indoors
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the Department’s first crowdsourced prize competition in support of the nation’s first responder community.
The “Indoor Tracking of the Next Generation First Responder” prize competition seeks innovative ideas for solving the challenges of real-time, accurate indoor tracking of first responders during an incident. S&T is looking for innovate solutions that will help first responders with basic questions such as “where am I?” and “where is my team?”
This challenge is further exacerbated if radio communications are poor or non-existent. S&T is leveraging the benefits of crowdsourcing through this prize competition to gather innovative ideas for solving this complex, mission-critical problem. Proposed solutions should be personalized, modular and scalable, as well as employ current and emerging technologies, sensors and techniques. Winning solutions will receive a first place award of $20,000 and a second place award of $5,000. The open period for submissions is from March 3, 2015 to April 2, 2015.
To submit ideas, the public can register at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933726. Winning submissions may be selected for development and operational use.
Australian Report Provides Roadmap for Public Safety Broadband Data
In October 2014, the State of Victoria in Australia launched its Long Term Emergency Management Communications Plan (LTEMCP) to guide investment to 2025. The aims of the Plan are to:
- Establish initial broadband network leveraging public and private assets
- Consolidation of existing networks to single voice and narrowband data network
- The state-wide broadband data footprint will meet public safety grade standards.
- Paging services transitioned onto the broadband or narrowband data networks.
A copy of the Plan can be found at the following link. This document is one of the first that sets a Roadmap clearly showing the separation of mission critical narrow band voice (P25) from broadband data well past 2020.
Smart Firefighting Workshop Summary Report
Download your copy of the Smart Firefighting Workshop Summary Report that summarizes the results of the Smart Firefighting Workshop held on March 24 and 25, 2014, in Arlington, Virginia and sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Workshop provided a forum to help identify and understand the R&D needs for implementation of smart firefighting, highlighting use of existing technologies, development and deployment of emerging technologies including cyber-physical systems (CPS), and use of standards for data collection, exchange, and situational awareness tools. The workshop brought together experts from various industry, educational, and governmental organizations involved in the cyber physical systems and firefighting areas.
NPSTC Radio Programming Capability Requirements (PCR) Announces Critical Programming Tool
Of great interest to anyone who programs P25 Land Mobile Radios, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Radio PCR Working Group has completed a radio Programming and Management tool (PAM). This tool uses an Excel spreadsheet to capture specific P25 radio programming data fields. Radio programming is very complex with many data fields that assign frequencies, IDs, features, and options. A slight error during the programming process will prohibit the radio from accessing a trunking system or conventional channel when the radio is used. This issue impacts public safety agencies using radio equipment from multiple vendors. It also creates a huge safety issue at the scene of a major incident when large quantities of radios need to be programmed for mutual aid use. To read the full report and download the tool visit NPSTC's Web site at these links:
This site is administered by volunteers committed to advancing public safety communications interoperability
and kindly hosted by the York Regional Police Service.