First Responder SmartHub  (DHS S&T)

Building a modular architecture for first responders

The Department of Homeland Security is looking for feedback on technical specs for its First Responder SmartHub architecture, which will allow individual body-worn devices or modules to interact with each other to give responders with the capabilities they need to execute their operations.

The Next Generation First Responder Integration Handbook aims to help developers build  an interoperable environment for first responder technologies. It doesn’t create new standards, but recommends existing ones that will make it possible to develop a “plug-and-play” environment using current infrastructure, the Science and Technology Directorate said in its request for comments.

DHS envisions a modular environment that allows first responders to pick and choose the technology that suits their specific task. The basic body-worn modules in the Responder SmartHub architecture would include a controller, communications, sensor inputs, user input and output and power.

The draft handbook is available online and covers the general concepts of Next Generation First Responder program, the hardware and engineering considerations, software development, data architecture and other standards areas.

“This handbook is meant to start the conversation about how industry can partner with responders to make technologies that are easier to integrate and provide meaningful capabilities to operational users,” the DHS explained.

Comments are due April 30. Read the RFI here.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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