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Voices of First Responders – Identifying Public Safety Communication Problems: Findings from User-Centered Interviews, Phase 1, Volume 1



Yee-Yin Choong, Shanee T. Dawkins, Susanne M. Furman, Kristen Greene, Sandra S. Prettyman, Mary F. Theofanos


The public safety community is in the process of transitioning from the use of land mobile radios to a technology ecosystem including a variety of broadband data sharing platforms. Successful deployment and adoption of new communication technology relies on efficient and effective user interfaces based on a clear understanding of first responder needs, requirements and contexts of use. The project employs a two-phased data collection approach for an in-depth look at the population of first responders, along with their work environment, their tasks, and their communication needs. This report documents the data collection of Phase 1 and the first iteration of data analysis. Phase 1, the qualitative component, focuses on interviews with approximately 240 first responders (law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency medical services, communications/dispatch) across the country. Results include: approximately 90 user needs and requirements expressed by first responders; five categories of technology opportunities; six principles for technology development; and the role of trust in usage of communication technology.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8216
Report Number
Created July 31, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018