Key Homeland Security Exercise Held at Port Houston


More than 200 participants from 13 Houston-area public safety agencies and 20 industry partners participated in a federally sponsored emergency management exercise Dec. 4 and 5.

Port Houston welcomed the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Next Generation First Responder Program. The exercise’s purpose was to show how commercial and DHS-developed technologies can be integrated with existing public safety systems in a HAZMAT scenario.

The test also was designed to learn how to improve responder safety and augmented situational awareness, increased operational coordination and enhanced operational communications.

During the exercise, participants assessed technologies on a simulated offshore fuel leak from ships in the port. Technologies included advanced data analytics, HAZMAT sensors, responder and patient physiological monitoring sensors, situational awareness and collaboration dashboards and indoor location tracking.

William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, lauded all the agencies involved for their efforts.

“This is a great endeavor and could not have been accomplished without the time and dedication from our Houston-area and Harris County public safety agency and industry partners for their time, dedication, and determination for a successful exercise,” Bryan said. “Homeland security begins with hometown security. It is partnerships like these that help us show the world the future of first responder technology.”

The Office of Emergency Management at Port Houston is responsible for the preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation of emergencies and major disasters at the port.

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