The First Responder (FR) of the Future: a Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) for Collaborative Response, increasing protection and augmenting operational capacity



HDR - Firefighter operate with a walkie talkie in action - Serie Firefighter

Today’s urban search and rescue teams, and other first responders such as police, medical units or civil protection agencies, are using technology of the past. During their primary mission of saving lives and preserving society’s safety and security, first responders face a multitude of challenges. In both small-scale emergencies and large-scale disasters, they often deal with life-threatening situations, hazardous environments, uncharted surroundings and limited awareness. Threats and hazards evolve rapidly, crossing municipalities, regions and nations with speed and ease. Armouring public safety services with all the tools that modern technology has to offer is critical. Such tools holistically enhance their protection and augment their operational capacities, assisting them in saving lives as well as ensuring their safe return from the disaster scene.


INGENIOUS will develop, integrate, test, deploy and validate a Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) for Collaborative Response.

This will comprise a multitude of tools and services required:

  • for enabling protection of the first responders with respect to their health, safety and security;
  • for enhancing their operational capacities by equipping them with means to conduct various response tasks and missions boosted with autonomy, automation, precise positioning, optimal utilisation of available resources and upgraded awareness and sense-making; and
  • for allowing shared response across first responder teams and disciplines by augmenting their field of view, information sharing and communications between teams and with victims.

Our Role

Within the project, Trilateral leads the project ethics committee and fulfils the role of the Legal, Ethical and Security Issues Manager, ensuring that all partners adhere to ethics and data protection obligations when conducting qualitative research and processing personal data.

Trilateral will be leading research on the ethical, legal, privacy and data protection aspects of the INGENIOUS project, conducting an Ethical/Privacy/Data Protection Impact Assessment to assess how the project complies with fundamental rights and societal values, and writing a briefing paper on these issues. This assessment includes a webinar where the technology developers and users consider different fundamental rights and societal values, and how the project will address them.

By collaborating with all project members as they develop, test and use the INGENIOUS technology, Trilateral will help identify and mitigate risks whilst supporting technology-driven innovation.

We will evaluate the socio-cultural considerations that should be made in the development and planned exploitation of the INGENIOUS Toolkit. We will then write a handbook providing detailed ethics, legal, privacy and data protection guidelines and protocols that all project partners need to follow.



The Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) for Collaborative Response builds upon the concept of “smart” first responders by protecting them and assisting in conducting their response duties, empowering and enhancing their helmet, uniform, boots and accompanying canine units with wearables, communication and localisation components, sensors and add-ons delivering augmented reality functions. Moreover, the NGIT comprises of smart devices in the air and on the ground, that are essentially external response modules operated by first responders to monitor, map, analyse and assess the incident scene. These are designed to be used in response to natural and manmade disasters.



As a result of the INGENIOUS project, first responders should benefit from novel tools, technologies, guidelines and methods aimed at facilitating their operations. The project’s broader impact will include the following:

  • Increasing EU resilience by allowing authorities to take proper measures in response to severe disasters, both natural (including climate-related extreme events) and manmade.
  • Innovating first responder missions by drawing from novel technologies that are customised and implemented for the (cross-sectoral) needs of first responders.
  • Detecting, monitoring and analysing passive and active threats and hazards at incident scenes in real-time.
  • Knowing the location of first responders and their proximity to team members, victims, assets, risks and hazards in real-time.
  • Augmenting common operational picture and sense-making by incorporating information from multiple and non-traditional sources (spanning from heterogeneous sensing components to crowdsourcing and social media) into incident command operations.

For more information and updates, visit the INGENIOUS project website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.



Please contact our team for more information:


Mistale Taylor, Senior Research Analyst within the Applied Research and Innovation team at Trilateral Research



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833435

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