Mobile solutions power the first-responder community

  • Mobile App Hackathon produces real-life solutions for emergency first responders.
  • App teams develop 15 solutions to expedite aiding distressed mobile users.

In support of its long-standing commitment to public safety, AT&T Developer Program hosted its third Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Mobile App Hackathon on May 2-3 in Washington, DC at

start-up incubator 1776.Focused on using the power of technology to create mobile solutions that could benefit the first-responder community, the event challenged professional and novice app developers alike to create public safety focused apps. Developers were presented four challenges to help public safety: team communications, situational awareness, location tracking, and augmented reality.

Having members from the first-responder community on site to mentor Hackathon participants made the Public Safety Hackathon unique.  Mentors came from across the Mid-Atlantic region, including the State of Maryland Police, Montgomery County Police & Fire (MD), Prince George’s County Police (MD), Alexandria Police (VA), Princeton Fire (NJ), the Dept. of Homeland Security, members from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), and more.

During the 24-hour competition, 100 participants formed teams and worked through the night to create 15 mobile applications that offer real solutions to challenges faced by first responders.  The top three finishers:

First Place:

Team Beacon– Apps that enable people who may be disabled, injured, or lost to quickly and silently communicate their condition and location to their circle of friends, family, and professionals. A companion app enables First Responders, family, and friends to see in real-time, on a Google map, their location and condition.

Second Place:

Team Beckon- An app that allows first responders to find persons in distress. In situations of extreme peril, iBeacon can be set to turn on immediately to work in conjunction with geo-fencing during fly overs to find buried cellphones.

Third Place:

Team Glass of Life- An app that helps first responders extricate people from cars using Google Glass and augmented reality to see schematics of cars.

Upcoming Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Mobile App Hackathons will be held this year on June 20 at the Plano, TX Foundry and August 22 at the Palo Alto, CA Foundry.

 What kinds of apps can you envision to help first responders in their commitment to public safety?

Jim Bugel Public Safety Solutions Vice President AT&T About Jim