The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released a new app that tracks the locations and vitals of first responders using GPS and Bluetooth in smartphones. Watchtower is free to all public safety users.
The Watchtower app could be a game changing addition to accountability tools. Communicating your location to command via radio is both clumsy and difficult, as your location can be regularly changing. In some circumstances you never know if what you are reporting is accurate or understood.
In addition to tracking location, Watchtower monitors heart rate and oxygen levels, potentially identifying life-threatening circumstances requiring evacuation.
Interested agencies can obtain the Watchtower app through the Github site. It is available for both iOS and Android.