First Responders

Cloud mapping tools to aid first responders during disasters

Esri's GIS public information maps will be made accessible on Microsoft's cloud-based disaster portal.

Unified comm is the next step in 911's evolution

The FCC and Transportation Department are working to establish a transition path to the next generation of 911 services.

DHS R&D program has a disconnect with first responders' needs, House panel told

The department has a program to help develop technology for first responders, but matching the money with state and local agencies' requirements has proved difficult.

Crash analytics: How data can help eliminate highway deaths

Highway safety groups' strategy, called Toward Zero Deaths, is ambitious, but data analytics combined with the "Four Es" make it possible.

DARPA's $40K 'quest' tests social media's ability to help in emergency

The CLIQR Quest Challenge asks participants to use their social media skills to locate QR codes that represent resources crews would need in an emergency.

Emergency alert system expands to mobile phones

The Commercial Mobile Alert System, a national network for delivering emergency notices to phones by text, is scheduled to be operational in April.

TSA piggybacks on Coast Guard emergency alert systems

When the Transportation Security Administration needed to upgrade its emergency alert system, it opted to use the system already in place for its sister agency the Coast Guard.

In case of emergency, send text (fire crews will get there sooner)

The Farmington, N.M., Fire Department uses the Remote Print Manager to translate dispatch data into text messages, adding a quick, reliable channel for emergency response.

Emergency text response: When alerts become spam

Text messaging is an effective aid to emergency dispatching for one New Mexico fire department, but you should be careful not to abuse the service.

FCC shoots down LightSquared's plans for satellite network

Ruling comes after NTIA report concludes there is "no practical way" to solve the problem of GPS interference at the moment.

FBI wants social media intell scanner

The Web-based tool would scan social media sites and commercial news outlets to help stay ahead of unfolding crises.

Police scanner apps are criminals' latest tool

What if criminal suspects could gain a leg up on police by listening in on secure law enforcement radio transmissions via smart phones? That's already happening in Maryland.

One for 911: NYC puts police, fire, medical calls on integrated system

All of the city's dispatchers are for the first time on the same system, which can handle up to 50,000 calls an hour.

App helps emergency crews ID toxic chemicals

Medical personnel dealing with cases of possible exposure to hazardous chemicals could have an easier time deciding on a course of treatment thanks to a new online tool from the National Library of Medicine.

Digital dragnet: How data became a cop's best weapon

Police are using technologies originally developed for business analysis to investigate cases, catch criminals and even predict crime trends.

Aerial surveillance added to police toolkit in Calif. town

Law enforcement officials in Lancaster, Calif., will be getting a bird's eye view of the city thanks to a proposal for aerial surveillance approved this week.

Taking criminal justice resources into the wild

Access to law enforcement data brings additional convenience and safety for federal officers spread across large territories.