The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) develops technologies and knowledge products for all first responders. S&T draws most of its information about capability gaps and requirements from urban and suburban agencies, however. This makes sense, since urban and suburban first responders serve the most densely populated regions. In recent years, however, as the incidence of floods, wildfires, and violent storms in rural areas has increased, volunteer firefighters have played a larger and more prominent role, and they are doing so without many of the resources of larger agencies.
Therefore, S&T is looking for answers to two questions: Do rural volunteer fire departments have unique needs? If so, what can S&T do to address them?
S&T invites volunteer firefighters and their agencies to look at their capability gaps and requirements today, think about their needs and requirements in the future, and share their ideas for technologies that might meet those requirements.