June 17, 2019
Today, NPSTC's Public Safety Internet of Things (IoT) Working Group released a comprehensive report examining how first responders may use IoT devices and sensors to enhance emergency response while augmenting personnel and scene safety. The document provides a detailed analysis of eight use cases which explore a wide range of PS IoT capabilities. Each use case focuses on a specific first responder discipline or multi-agency event type. They include a law enforcement traffic stop, house fire, and EMS response to a heart attack. Other use cases examine the implications of video during a convenience store robbery, interagency data sharing during a traffic crash with hazmat spill, unique issues associated with response to a Smart Building, and multi-agency responses to a school shooting and severe weather event.
There is a rapidly growing number of Internet-connected devices that will be capable of reporting environmental data, biometrics, tactical data, location, and a wealth of other public safety specific information. Other IoT devices will allow an authorized first responder to take remote control of another device, application, or service (e.g., to unlock doors, turn off building ventilation systems, or close a natural gas valve). With analytics, IoT data and capabilities can be combined, filtered, and analyzed to provide "actionable intelligence" for the first responder.
At the same time, these devices introduce new types of connectivity and new types of data which will bring questions and challenges. Public safety agencies must examine the risks and benefits to first responders while assessing cybersecurity, network connectivity, interoperability, and data sharing questions and concerns. In order to achieve the full benefit of these systems, data integrity must be assured and the data must be made available to the first responder in real time.
Although many first responders are generally aware of Public Safety IoT, active planning to adopt the growing array of IoT tools is just beginning. This use case report contains the full description and analysis of eight emergency events, including important assessment attributes and discussion notes that were developed by the Working Group. These materials will serve as the basis for forthcoming NPSTC outreach reports to help guide agencies as they consider adopting IoT technology. The information in this report will also help vendors and equipment manufacturers better understand the capabilities and services needed by public safety.