Across the country, first responder agencies constantly self-evaluate their tools and equipment. Oftentimes, the technology they use could be taken another step further to solve simple but essential capability gaps responders face daily. Many first responders would benefit from technology that innovators have the know-how to develop, but they are often unaware of the needs. One of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) core missions is to develop new technologies for first responders and then transition it to the commercial market. In order to accomplish this, the First Responders Group (FRG) is reliant on the help of first responders from across the United States. It is their firsthand experience, insights, and expertise that allows S&T to conceptualize and evaluate first responder technologies.
This is where the First Responders Resource Group (FRRG) comes in. An all-volunteer working group that includes members of law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, emergency management, and other disciplines. The FRRG’s goal is to help S&T maintain focus on the top-priority needs of responders in the field. The members are drawn from the major first responder disciplines and from all regions of the country. Each year, the FRRG gathers to determine priorities for the coming year and discuss progress on current projects.