WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the release of a major sharing service update to its First Responder Support Tools (FiRST) mobile application (app) first released in 2011.
The FiRST app provides first responders with useful information and response resources, such as information on safe distances for cordoning off in response to potential improvised explosive device or hazardous material incidents, on their smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers.
“Real-time information sharing is critical when responding to an incident,” said Christine Lee, FiRST Program Manager. “With the new FiRST Sharing Service feature, first responders at the incident location and decision-makers at a command center are able to send incident information in real time and are also able to control who has access to the data.”
S&T worked with first responders who used the tool in the field to develop the new FiRST Sharing Service—allowing response agencies to create defined user groups to share incident data and photos with colleagues directly through the app. In addition, users will be able to share this data with external information systems, such as WebEOC® and S&T’s Virtual USA®, ensuring a unified response.
Group members will also be alerted when new incident data is posted. The FiRST app, currently available for Apple, Android, and Windows PC devices, was developed in partnership with the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate Offices of Infrastructure Protection and Bombing Prevention, as well as Applied Research Associates, Inc. The FiRST application is available for download at www.firstsupporttools.com.