System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER)

Advances in technology provide emergency response agencies with tremendous opportunities to enhance capabilities.  For example, technologies have evolved to allow for lightweight and compact systems capable of providing voice and data communications and information sharing over long distances even in rural and remote environments.  Unfortunately, agencies from small communities often have limited resources and staffing, which severely limit their abilities to operate even at a minimal level, notwithstanding the need to stay abreast of technology, assess needs, apply for grants, and select equipment among many vendor options.

The System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program aims to assist responders from all types of agencies with making their next purchase by providing market information and guidance for selecting equipment.  A program of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and implemented through a network of technical agents, SAVER involves assessment of equipment prioritized by responders themselves.  In addition, SAVER helps responders by assimilating market information from a wide assortment of products and, furthermore, provides objective information from end users regarding the capabilities of equipment.  Agencies may use this information to help justify purchases or apply for grants.

As a technical agent, the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) Justice and Safety Center (JSC) provided a focus on the needs of agencies from small and rural communities when conducting research and assessments.  The following completed and ongoing projects account for factors important to agencies of all size:    

The EKU JSC’s SAVER projects were sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through a cooperative agreement between FEMA and EKU. For additional information about the SAVER Program and to review SAVER reports based on equipment needs, see the SAVER section of the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) Web site at: https://www.rkb.us/saver.  For additional information about EKU JSC’s SAVER projects, contact staff at: SAVER@eku.edu.