Joint Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing on R&D for First Responder Technologies

Washington, D.C. – The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, chaired by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, chaired by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), will hold a joint hearing entitled “First Responder Technologies: Ensuring a Prioritized Approach for Homeland Security Research and Development” tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently the only Federal agency that has a dedicated research and development program for first responders.  The program was created under DHS’ Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate in 2010 to work directly with first responders to identify their technology requirements.

Tomorrow’s hearing will give Members the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of S&T’s process for developing technologies to assist first responders, what technologies S&T has transitioned for first responder use, and where gaps remain for the first responder community.

Bilirakis said: "We must work in a collaborative way at all levels of government and with the private sector to ensure that first responders have the tools and technology they need to achieve their missions.  This hearing will provide Members with an opportunity to assess efforts at the Federal level to work with the first responder community to research, develop, and deploy these vital technologies."

Lungren said: “First responders are an integral part of the Homeland Security Enterprise.  These personnel rush to scenes of emergency and disaster, and deserve the best technologies when responding to such situations.  In the homeland security context, the need for reliable equipment that will function in hazardous environments and support mass casualty events is paramount.  We are holding this hearing to ensure that, ten years since the response to 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is effectively incorporating first responder priorities into its research and development efforts, and that first responders are equipped with the tools they need to be successful.”

What:                 Joint Subcommittee Hearing on “First Responder Technologies: Ensuring a Prioritized Approach for Homeland Security Research and Development”

When:                 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where:                311 Cannon House Office Building

                           **Live video feed will be available HERE

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available online HERE

Witness List:

Dr. Robert Griffin
Director of First Responder Programs
Science and Technology Directorate
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ms. Mary H. Saunders
Director
Standards Coordination Office
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Chief Edward Kilduff
Chief of Department
New York City Fire Department

Ms. Annette Doying
Director
Office of Emergency Management
Pasco County, FL

Ms. Kiersten Todt Coon
President and CEO
Liberty Group Ventures

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