The Department of Homeland Security has awardedÂ Applied Research AssociatesÂ a two-month, $648,880 contractÂ to develop a technology that would help increase first responders’ safety awareness duringÂ roadway operations.
ARA and DHS’Â science and technology directorate will collaborateÂ to produce aÂ two-pronged approachÂ toÂ minimize the risk of vehiclesÂ hittingÂ emergency personnel when theyÂ respond to road incidents, the departmentÂ said Friday.
The approach seeks toÂ reduceÂ distraction, glare or temporary blindness caused byÂ emergency vehicle lightingÂ as well asÂ provideÂ oncoming vehicle alerts to first responders through Bluetooth.
â€œWhether at a traffic stop, a vehicle blaze, or on a medical call, responders in law enforcement, the fire service, and emergency medical response need to be confident that they can focus on the task at hand without compromising their own safety,” said Robert Griffin, DHS deputy undersecretary for science and technology.
â€œThe goal here is to seamlessly integrate cutting-edge technology into existing gear and equipment to reduce the number of responder and civilian fatalities,” said Angela Ervin, program manager at DHS S&T’s first responder group.
DHS S&TÂ soughtÂ proposals from rapid-technology vendors inÂ fall 2015Â to help address capability issues that domesticÂ first responders face and ARA’s contractÂ isÂ one of the several related contractsÂ resulting from the solicitation.