DHS calls for tips from first responders

March 29, 2007 at 12:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the launch of a new program to support emergency first responders by responding to their suggestions.

Homeland Security's Science and Technology directorate created the TechSolutions program to supply new technologies to first responders as they see fit, the department said in a statement Wednesday.

"No one understands the needs of first responders better than first responders," said Jay M. Cohen, Under Secretary for Science and Technology. "Every day, hundreds of law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical services personnel and bomb-squad members think, 'there's a better way to do this,' and we want to hear from them."

The program is intended to address mission capability gaps by providing information, resources, and technology solutions.

The goal of TechSolutions is to field technologies suggested by first responders through an online submission process. Selected proposals will be funded up to $1 million and implemented within 12 months of funding, the statement said.

Congress earmarked $7.5 million in the Science and Technology directorate budget to fund the program for one year.

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