Intrepid Networks has announced that its Response situational-awareness mobile application is recognized as FirstNet Certified and is available through the FirstNet App Catalog, and the company plans to submit a second application for FirstNet consideration in the near future, according to an Intrepid Networks official.

FirstNet and AT&T—the contractor charged with building and maintaining the nationwide public-safety broadband network—are vetting all applications submitted for inclusion in the FirstNet App Catalog to ensure that they are relevant to public safety and meet first responders’ security requirements. The review process for Intrepid Response took two months, according to Bruce Dowlen, marketing director for Intrepid Networks.

“It was rigorous,” Dowlen said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We had to have it scanned many, many times. We moved through a lot of security protocols and measurements, which was an evolving process—they kept adding more features and requirements. Since we’re one of the first ones through the actual process it was kind of a learning experience for both of us.”

For example, Intrepid Networks was asked to alter its policies regarding acceptable passwords—the number of characters and the use of special characters—to meet requirements established by FirstNet and AT&T, Dowlen said.

“The end result was definitely safer for the user,” Dowlen said. “Dealing with a larger entity like AT&T and FirstNet, we’re happy to be a part of the groundwork that’s going in there and hopefully setting it better for other companies and other innovations to come down the line. We support that, we support FirstNet, and—of course—we support our first responders.

“We’re in there to make a change. We want [first responders] to be more aware of the situation and to be safer—that’s our goal.”

Intrepid Response is a mobile application that is designed to provide users with situational awareness through its collaboration tools and its mapping capability, which identifies the real-time location of team members and can incorporate information about the environment impacting the response effort. The Response application was a key component of many public-safety LTE pilot projects and highlighted by numerous users of FirstNet early-builder projects.

“Intrepid Response has been vetted and implemented by numerous public safety organizations,” Intrepid Networks CEO Britt Kane said in a prepared statement. “FirstNet certification for Response reinforces our commitment to provide purpose-built, robust and secure applications for public safety that are ready and available when they need them most.”

Dowlen said that the Response application is available to users of computers, Android devices and iOS devices, with the iOS option emerging as the most popular version for public safety.

“About 70% of the market seems to be iOS versus Android—it’s really flip-flopped from a couple of years ago,” Dowlen said.

Some of Intrepid Networks’ high-profile customers that use the Response application include the New York City police department (NYPD), the Orlando police department, and Harris County, Texas. Response also is used by federal entities like the IRS and the U.S. Department of Defense, he said.

Existing users of the Response application will be prompted automatically to upgrade to the version that received the FirstNet Certified designation, Dowlen said.

Having completed the FirstNet certification process with Response. Intrepid Networks plans to submit its Activate application for FirstNet certification in the coming weeks, Dowlen said.

“Hopefully, the [vetting] process will only take a week or two this time,” he said.