RapidSOS, Responder Corp, Orleans Parish Communication District, and Western Fire Chiefs Association Win $1 Million R2 Network Challenge

The US Economic Development Administration, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research division and the First Responder Network Authority, awards $1 million grant to public-private partnership to help close the technology gap in emergency response and public safety

A nationwide network to connect first responders and leading technology innovators

RapidSOS, Responder Corp, Orleans Parish Communication District, and Western Fire Chiefs Association were awarded the $1 million Accelerate R2 Network Challenge grant funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with subject matter expertise from the First Responder Network (FirstNet) Authority.

Together, along with the State of New Hampshire serving as a key strategic partner and collaborator, these partners will form a national, free-to-use, and self-sustaining platform that brings stakeholders together for a common goal: to support innovators and agencies in empowering first responders with the tools and technologies they need to stay safe and protect our communities.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic consistently generating new and unique demands from our citizenry, strengthening intelligence and response innovation is as critical as ever,” said Tyrell Morris, Executive Director of Orleans Parish Communication District. “We are excited to participate as the 9-1-1 agency representative in the R2 Network, providing insights into challenges agencies are facing across the country.”

The R2 Network will consist of a three-part approach:

  • R2 Learn: Resources to educate entrepreneurs and public safety departments on the unique challenges and opportunities of the public safety markets.
  • R2 Portal: An online solution innovators and departments can use to source, vet and commercialize or deploy new technology.
  • R2 Connect: Programming and events to create strategic exchange and enable the community to share, learn and adopt best practices and new technology.

Michael Martin, CEO of RapidSOS said, “Thanks to the endless support and feedback of public safety, RapidSOS now links 350M+ devices to 4,800+ public safety agencies — providing critical data in over 250 million emergencies annually. We’re excited to partner with these innovators in tech and public safety to develop a first-of-its-kind network to help other entrepreneurs develop solutions that will enhance our nation’s emergency response systems.”

Nathanial Wish, CEO of Responder Corp said, “By bridging the gap between innovators and first responders, the R2 Network will help ensure public safety has the right technology to solve ever growing needs. Our team is committed to building the long-needed resources we believe will accelerate the speed at which technology can help build more responsive and resilient communities.

Chief Jeff Johnson, CEO at Western Fire Chiefs Association said “Technology has not caught up with the needs of public safety. The technology pieces are there, but they are just not assembled, built for, and aligned in a way that is useful for first responders. We are excited to work with our R2 Network partners to solve for this.”

To learn more about the R2 Network, join the team for a live webinar on Tuesday, November 10th at 1 pm ET. Register for free here.

About RapidSOS
In partnership with public safety, RapidSOS has created the world’s first emergency response data platform that securely links life-saving data from 350M+ connected devices directly to 911 and first responders. Through the platform, RapidSOS provides intelligent data that supports over 4,800 Emergency Communications Centers, protecting 90%+ of people in the US, across 250 million emergencies annually. Together with innovative companies certified as RapidSOS Ready, RapidSOS is supporting the nation’s heroic first responders in saving millions of lives annually. To learn more about our technology that’s protecting lives, visit www.rapidsos.com.

About Responder Corp
Responder Corp supports innovation in public safety through investment and accelerator programs. At Responder Ventures we invest in life-saving technology. At Responder Labs we partner with corporations and government agencies to deliver accelerator programs. We help build technology emergency responders and frontline workers need to keep themselves, and our communities, safe. Learn more at www.respondercorp.com and join our growing network at www.responderportal.com.

About Orleans Parish Communication District (www.OPCDLA.gov)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the PSAP for all emergency communications via 9-1-1, and non-emergency communications via 3-1-1, within Orleans Parish. The agency employs 180 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

The Mission of OPCD is to get the Right People to the Right Place at the Right Time, Better than Anybody Else in the World.

About the Western Fire Chiefs Association
The Western Fire Chiefs Association serves as a representative for leaders of fire-related emergency service organizations throughout the WFCA member states and the Western Pacific Islands. WFCA develops and supports those leaders in order that they may best provide for the protection of people and the environment from the occurrence and outcomes of fires and other natural, technological and human-behavior-caused emergencies. Find out more about WFCA at wfca.com

Press Contact
Michelle Cahn