First responders connect via DHS online network

Facebook-like program lets officials meet, share best practices

Local, state and federal first responders can join a new online professional network from the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to connect and share advice on how to best prepare for and respond to all hazards.

Through the online network named “First Responder Communities of Practice,” fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and emergency management personnel can sign up for the network, log in, and search for other professionals, connect, and share best practices.

The network kicked off Feb. 1 and has cost DHS about $1.2 million.

Jose Vazquez, director of first responder technologies for the S&T, said the program was developed by talking directly with first responders who said they wanted a way to access relevant resources and to connect with colleagues.

So far, the network has 179 users, Vazquez said. He added that in five years, DHS hopes the network will have 500,000 people, or about one-fifth of the roughly 2.5 million first responders in the United States.

Vazquez said the network features user profiles, professional tags, RSS feeds, wikis, and blogs.


About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Tue, Apr 6, 2010 Ray Virginia

I was the architect of the HSIN system that DHS uses for couterterrorism. HSIN, LLIS, this new portal and many others can be replaced by the Federated Intelligence Network.It has been my experience that all of the systems except FedIntel have been developed by a government interest and are "stove pipes" by design. They do not interact and they all replicate data in some depth.

Tue, Apr 6, 2010

DHS now has Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) (is it still around?), Dister Management Information Service (DMIS), LLIS, the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) and now this one and probably a few more in the works. Good job with the txpayer's money.

Mon, Apr 5, 2010

Interesting article. Strangely enough, DHS already has a system just like this. It's run by FEMA, and is called Lessons Learned Information Sharing (www.LLIS.gov). It was launched more than 5 years ago and serves essentially the same function: an online location where responders can access and share lessons learned, post to message boards, create user profiles, etc. It already has more than 50,000 members and thousands of documents. So, we have yet another classic example of poor cross-Department coordination within DHS leading to duplication of effort and the wasted expense of millions of dollars.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group