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Voices of First Responders—Nationwide Public Safety Communication Survey Findings: Mobile Devices, Applications, and Futuristic Technology, Phase 2, Volume 2

Published

Author(s)

Shanee T. Dawkins, Kristen Greene, Sandra S. Prettyman

Abstract

With the newly created Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, the public safety community is in the process of supplementing the use of land mobile radios with the use of a broader spectrum of technologies. As these technologies are being developed, researchers and industry alike need to focus on the end users – the first responders – in order to ensure successful and usable systems. Understanding the user population of first responders is key to improved usability. The NIST PSCR Usability Team conducted a multi-phase, mixed methods research project in order to provide greater understanding of public safety users, their experiences, and their technology needs and problems. This report, Phase 2, Volume 2, is the second in a series of reports on the data from the Phase 2 large-scale, nationwide survey of 7 182 first responders. Three specific topics in the first responder communication technology space, drawing on data from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project are presented: 1) mobile devices, apps, and software, 2) futuristic technology and virtual reality, and 3) technology used in large incidents. Findings suggest that broader access to affordable devices, particularly work-issued smartphones, and data through smartphone apps, most essential being email and mapping/navigation, could fill significant gaps in the public safety technology space, making the NPSBN build-out so important for public safety. It is also important to understand that what many first responders want for the future of public safety is technology that already exists for the general public, it just is not yet widespread in the public safety domain, e.g., single sign-on (SSO). Lastly, researchers and developers in the public safety domain should focus on solving the problems that first responders have with technology used for daily incident response, as it will also help them during large events.
Citation
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8314
Report Number
8314

Keywords

First responders, Communication technology, Public safety communication research, Survey research, Usability, User needs and requirements

Citation

Dawkins, S. , Greene, K. and Prettyman, S. (2020), Voices of First Responders—Nationwide Public Safety Communication Survey Findings: Mobile Devices, Applications, and Futuristic Technology, Phase 2, Volume 2, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.IR.8314 (Accessed September 21, 2021)
Created August 26, 2020, Updated August 27, 2020