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DHS S&T upgrades its 'FiRST' app for first responders with info-sharing features

First released in 2011, the mobile app known as First Responder Support Tools, or FiRST, has just been enhanced with a major sharing service update, according to the Science and Technology Directorate of DHS. 

The FiRST app provides first responders with useful information and response resources on their smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers, such as information on safe distances for cordoning off in response to potential improvised explosive device or hazardous material incidents. 

“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.  Currently available for Apple, Android and Windows PC devices, the FiRST application is available for download at www.firstsupporttools.com.



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