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First Responders Group BAA

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new call for proposals via the First Responders Group Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the following topics:

Increased Exposure Protection Around Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Interfaces

There are several challenges to ensuring structural firefighter safety, including the fact that firefighter gear is not custom-fitted to the wearer, and the wearer may not have the proper materials at PPE interfaces. Despite advances in the design for structural firefighter PPE, firefighters continue to have increased health risks due to toxic gases in fire smoke and the many other combustion products of a fire. The proposed solution should integrate into existing PPE, or be able to be incorporated into new PPE, although slight modification may be necessary.

Self-Detecting and Decontaminating Personal Protective Equipment

Only specialized personnel with customized equipment have hazardous or infectious substance identification capability. None of these capabilities are built into the daily wear uniform. By meeting this requirement, the technology would help decrease healthcare expenses, reduce loss of work time, and improve First Responder health and safety. As a component of the daily work uniform, the proposed technology would both alert the First Responders to contaminant danger as well as provide a minimum level of protection from the danger during the course of normal operations.

3D Scanner for Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device Content Mapping

Currently there is no technology that provides adequate image resolution using single-sided and standard X-radiation (x-ray) to obtain a Cartesian-coordinate 3D image (e.g., computer-aided geometric design coordinate system). Standard x-ray technology available today requires a significant amount of time on target, a significant number of xray panels, and only results in a single-sided image. The solution will develop a delivery and aiming system that includes a remotely controlled adjustable apparatus and a computer interface with 3D content mapping.

The system will also provide an external aiming point and trajectory capability or will be designed such that this feature can be added in the future.

Integration of Field-Based Hazard Detection Output

There is a need to provide First Responders with the ability to input data into a device which will aggregate, interpret, and report information on the presence of a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) hazardous substance, what threat it poses, and outline the next steps for analysis and remediation.

Such an instrument would improve the performance of the response team by providing pivotal training and real-world response models, and ensures First Responders are operating with a complete body of institutional knowledge.

The purpose of this technology is to provide a software tool that integrates data from multiple instruments and sources, applies data analytic techniques for better determining the hazard class or CBRN agent, and provide the user with a decision matrix (e.g., other tests that may be required, or suggest if further screening is needed).

Simultaneous Radio Transmissions for Greater Situational Awareness

First Responders need the ability to exchange information rapidly in high intensity situations; one unfortunate result of which is they often transmit radio calls that coincide with each other. This can keep valuable and potentially life-saving information from being transmitted, leading to a lack of situational awareness at critical times. An advanced technology to receive all radio transmissions will ensure that vital information is never missed, and if necessary can be retransmitted or communicated to those who need it.

Readily Accessible, High-Fidelity Simulation Tools to Support Training and Exercises in Incident Management and Response

Responders face an array of training and exercise mandates, from certification and recertification in specific skills to on–the-job training courses; technical and managerial training; and exercises for individual, team, and agency proficiency. Although there are many federal, state, and local training mandates, funds to conduct training and exercises are often the first to be cut from budgets in fiscal downturns.

While virtual training cannot replace the interaction involved in live training, there are opportunities to significantly reduce costs while increasing responder proficiency. Simulation capabilities are sought that are geared toward each emergency response discipline and includes realistic missions, tools, and decision points.

Such simulations would allow a large number of responders to train repeatedly and frequently, while providing the opportunity to test performance in a wide variety of scenarios. Training could be conducted by a widely varying number of participants, from a single individual to thousands of responders in an agency or region.

Further details are available via Solicitation Number: HSHQDC-13-R-B0012.  The closing date for this call for proposals is Jan. 16, 2015.

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