What FirstTech Does

First Responder Emerging Technologies, or FirstTech, helps North Carolina public safety agencies stay on the cutting edge of technology. FirstTech also helps agencies connect to FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.

FirstTech collaborates directly with experts in networking, hardware, software, applications and operating systems to identify the challenges and risks of new technologies. This collaboration helps public safety officials:

  • Handle cybersecurity issues
  • Meet connectivity needs
  • Manage interoperability and compatibility issues in existing and emerging systems
  • Conduct technology research for projects, such as school safety, emergency alerting and video analytics
  • Foster cross-agency cooperation

FirstTech provides the Text-to-Speech tool, which lets radio programmers easily create voice announcement files  for APX CPS software.

Register for the 2024 FirstTech Technical Expo

Register by May 24 to attend the expo on May 30 in Research Triangle Park. First responders will gain a broad understanding of the technology issues that shape the response environment at this free, one-day event with many 15-minute talks on topics like P25 TDMA, GIS, Counter-UAS, TAK, and Satellite direct-to-phone. There will also be an exhibitor area. 

Main Areas of Work

  • Responder Engagement – FirstTech works with first responder agencies in North Carolina to identify problems where technology can provide solutions. The program offers training and exercises on incorporating new technologies.
  • Industry Engagement – FirstTech engages vendors, developers and companies that serve the first-responder community. FirstTech gives first-responder operational insights to private companies under non-disclosure agreements for sensitive subjects. The program also connects companies  with local responders to participate in focus groups and other feedback sessions.
  • Partner Engagement – FirstTech brings North Carolina's voice to national efforts. It serves as the single point of contact for the federal FirstNet project, providing advocacy and collaboration for deployment. FirstTech participates in national technology-related efforts led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Communications Commission, National Public Safety Telecommunications Council and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.


To create a North Carolina where all responders can seamlessly and securely communicate using advanced technologies


To serve North Carolina’s responder community through thought leadership, direct experience and unbiased information to support responders’ understanding, adoption and usage of the best technologies available

Documents & Tools


Contact FirstTech with any questions about working with the program.