As first responders scour a building during search and rescue, the ability for incident commanders to know exactly where they are provides immense safety benefits. Having accurate location data in a structure is vital to their safety, especially in life-and-death situations where every second counts.
Risk is a reality of emergency response, and reducing this risk allows for faster and safer emergency engagements. Technologies that could potentially provide better situational awareness to first responders have developed rapidly over the past decade, with many wireless devices and sensors emerging within the global context of the Internet of Things (IoT). However, first-responder technology significantly lacks situational awareness regarding three-dimensional positioning inside building structures; while GPS can determine someone’s coordinates outdoors, it often cannot accurately determine where someone is inside a structure or which floor of a building they’re on.
Understanding a responder’s location in all three dimensions is invaluable to first responder coordination and safety. In this challenge, you’ll explore how 3D tracking technology can be used in high-stress, time-sensitive environments. Successful participants will produce a technology that can track first responders to <1 meter accuracy in three dimensions, with no pre-deployed infrastructure and in a variety of non-ideal environments. It is essential that the solutions developed and submitted in the final phase of the competition meet the diverse needs of first responders and are affordable.
We need innovators like you to join the FRST Challenge to develop a system of tools and technologies to help our first responders. You will ensure our communities are safer and public safety professionals are more prepared to handle crisis situations.
If you have a great idea and the skills to turn it into a reality, the FRST Challenge provides the opportunity to earn funding and support each step of the way, from conceptualizing to market release. The FRST Challenge aims to bring together leaders in technology, entrepreneurship, and public safety to bring effective and practical 3D tracking solutions to market.
A total of up to $5.6 million in prizes and support funding will be distributed across all five phases to support participants as they purchase materials, form teams, and create partnerships to develop their innovation. Prize money grows as teams advance through each phase, and several winners will ultimately be selected in Phase 5 to receive the largest cash prizes.
Travel assistance prizes will also be distributed to winning teams who attend the live field-testing events and PSCR annual stakeholder meeting, along with business development and entrepreneurial support to help bring innovations to market.
Significant attention will be spent to ensure participants with strong ideas, algorithms, or otherwise partial solutions have opportunities to collaborate and coalesce their ideas with other participants. To this end, teams need not be fully set until the end of Phase 3; fluidity across teams is encouraged in the early phases. Walk-on participants will be allowed in Phases 2 and 3. Participants who are not selected as winners through the first two phases are permitted to engage in future phases with continued chances to win funds.