Head Up Hands Free Fire Fighting (EN578-170003/28)

Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2019/02/07 14:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Solely Canadian content
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Secrétariat de Solutions Innovatrices Canada / Innovative Solutions Canada Secretariat
Contact email
Contact address
10 Wellington
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0S5

Find Out Who Is Interested In This Tender

Are you looking for partnering opportunities or thinking about bidding? Find out who is interested in the tender and add your name to the List of Interested Suppliers.

Important: The LIS for a specific tender notice does not replace or affect the tendering procedures in place for the procurement. Businesses are still required to respond to bid solicitations and to compete based on established bid criteria. For more information please read the List of Interested Suppliers Terms of Use.

Access the List of Interested Suppliers for this tender


The following statistics are only for the English page and are provided in close to real time. To calculate the total activity for a tender notice, you will need to add the English and French statistics.

Page views
(English page)
Unique page views
(English page)
Tender notice updates
Get notifications for this tender notice:
e-mail   RSS feed   Atom feed
For more information on notifications, visit the Follow Opportunities page.


January 15, 2019

1. The closing date for this challenge has been extended to February 7th, 2019 at 14:00 EST.

2. The presentations used during the webex can be requested at: solutions@canada.ca


January 14, 2019

Thank you to everyone who joined or tried to join us for our Defence Research and Development Canada challenges information session in English.

We’re really sorry, we had some technical issues and we've postponed the session.

We’ve fixed the issue and we will be having another English session Wednesday, January 16 at 10:00am (EST). For details, see Attachment 3.


January 10, 2019

The link to the NIST Special Publication 1191: Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting identified in the Background and Context of this challenge is unavailable. An alternate link has been provided: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Resources/Research-Foundation/Current-projects/Smart-FF/SmartFirefightingReport.pdf


January 7, 2019

Are you interested in the latest Department of National Defence (DND) — Defence Research and Development Canada Centre for Security Science challenges?

Join us for a Webex session on January 10, 2019. English session at 10am. French session at 11am.

For details, see Attachment 2.

*Please note that interested suppliers are not obligated to attend in order to provide a proposal.

**Please note that only questions related to the program will be answered, questions about specific challenges should be submitted to tpsgc.sic-isc.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca


December 27, 2018

Attachment 1 has been added. The document contains a question and answer related to the Challenge.


This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program Call for Proposals 002 (EN578-170003/C).

Please refer to the Solicitation Documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

Steps to apply:

Step 1: read this challenge

Step 2: read the Call for Proposals

Step 3: propose your solution

Challenge title: Head Up Hands Free Fire Fighting

Sponsoring Department: Department of National Defence (DND) Defence Research and Development Canada Centre for Security Science

Funding Mechanism: Contract

Maximum Contract Value:

Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $200,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 6 months.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $1,000,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 2 years. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.

Travel: For Phase 1, it is anticipated that two meetings may require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:

Kick-off Meeting: Ottawa, Ontario

Final Review Meeting: Ottawa, Ontario

Problem Statement Summary

The Department of National Defense (DND) is seeking a solution that will provide innovative devices, applications, personal protective equipment technology supports to help position Canadian firefighters to work in a more Head Up Hands Free (HF/HF) mode of operation on the fire ground.

Problem Statement

Fire fighters face many personal safety and operational effectiveness challenges when involved in calls for service involving structural fires and other calls for service where operators are called upon to be able to ‘see through’ and operate safely within an environments obscured by smoke: there challenges also limit the ability of fire crews to locate personnel and determine their wellness. As well, fire crews they require timely alerts to threats and hazards such as heat, gases and structural obstacles which may not be readily apparent. Currently, industry solution providers offer technologies such as audible, visual, and haptic alarms for air supply remaining in the firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) as well as devices which alert when a crew member is inert for an extended period. Other firms have thermal imaging capabilities as a single device or data feed. Fire fighters and services are hard pressed to carry, operate and support myriad devices, power sources, communications infrastructure and data sources. The current devices, sensors and notification systems are not connected to each other. At the moment, fire fighters are, in many instances, required to direct their attention away from the fire ground to touch and monitor situational awareness devices. It is anticipated that a more integrated HU/HF capability is needed to reduce cognitive load and improve operational effectiveness

Desired Outcomes and Considerations

Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes

Proposed solutions must:

  1. Integrate multiple sensors, data feeds, information communications technologies (ICT) and equipment components into a more consolidated technology support that goes beyond current industry offerings.
  2. Move towards architectures and solutions with: standardized approaches, and/or interoperable solution components, and/or ‘plug and play’ modular approaches, and/or ways to license and share approaches across industry.
  3. Have the ability to detect and display toxicity of harmful or lethal gases, including compromise to SCBA or other personal air filtration devices.

Additional Outcomes

Proposed solutions should:

  1. Receive and retrieve a comprehensive summary of building characteristics to assist in the development of a fire attack plan;
  2. Correlate building construction information affecting response with observed fire behaviour and response tactics;
  3. View a thermal image and select field-of-view concurrently, e.g. proximate objects and surfaces, 360° view and broader response environment;
  4. Access fire propagation modelling to enhance situational awareness on fire spread, structural collapse potential or other hazards; and
  5. Address relevant privacy and ethical considerations in framing solution architectures where operator information and behaviour is captured by the proposed supports, while many of the fire specific HU/HF sensor and situational awareness data feeds will likely be public domain or unprotected information.

Background and Context

The intended users of the solution are primarily civilian first responders – police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and other ‘operators’ - who are normally clients of the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) administered by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), in partnership with Public Safety Canada. The CSSP aims to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate, prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents through the convergence of Science and Technology (S&T) with policy, operations and intelligence.

The CSSP invests in, among other things, developing capabilities that help responders to conduct operations safely and effectively. Related CSSP project investments are intended to foster improvements to detection and decontamination technologies, forensic techniques, personal protective equipment, explosives countermeasures, and associated standards and processes.

Six US and six Canadian fire service captains and executives have begun characterizing capability gaps on the fire ground with a view to developing innovative technology supports to improve operator’s real time understanding of fire dynamics and the overall characterization of the fire ground. Initial reflections from these operators would likely build on further lower Technological Readiness Level requirements definition activities and research work done by agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Fire Protection Research Foundation (NIST Special Publication 1191: Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting). Solution development pathways will recognize that, in large part, American and Canadian firefighters share a common set of knowledge and common operating methods. This doctrine is combined with guidance and technical standards largely aggregated together by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

A head up/hands-free fire fighting requirements development workshop was conducted in Ottawa in, 2018 by the Centre for Security Science, Defence Research and Development Canada (CSS DRDC). The workshop focused on the requirements of front line firefighters for a HU/HF decision support capability suited to the demanding requirements of structural firefighting. Participants were Canadian and U.S. subject matter experts (SME) in firefighting, technology development, equipment safety and, performance standards. Group ideation over the two days was guided by pre-reading materials consisting of: a set of use cases or response scenarios that outlined response criteria, technical requirements options and a current technology overview/market characterization. Workshop discussions were informed in large part by ideas drawn from NIST Special Publication 1191: Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting.

Participants defined a list of key requirements categories for the information that the HU/HF capability should support using the firefighter’s visual, audible and tactile sensory modes. These HU/HF input requirements have been captured in this report in the following categories:

  • Improved situational awareness for on scene operators and command vantage points;
  • Crew tracking capability (location based services);
  • Physiological monitoring of operators health and safety;
  • Reference information related to the fire ground and adjacent cadastral information;
  • Alerts to operators with appropriate cognitive load considerations; and
  • Improved communications (current land mobile radio and emerging long term
  • evolution offerings)

Operators consulted thus far have placed significant emphasis on the notion that decision supports should capture and depict just the right amount of information when it’s needed most during operations. Their perceptions of operator cognitive limits while en route to a response and on the fire ground, as well as their (collective) abilities to sort and prioritize information from multiple concurrent stimuli, should be key considerations for solutions developed through this contract. Initial research and limited operator reflections on the promise of HUHF capabilities will need to be validated with a broader sample of firefighters as well as a relative importance ascribed to types of information depicted in the HUHF and the anticipated improvements in operational effectiveness or ‘outcomes’ described herein. This should include obtaining an initial reaction from the fire leadership through representative organizations such as the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.


All enquiries must be submitted in writing to TPSGC.SIC-ISC.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

Access and terms of use

Government of Canada (GC) tender notices and awards, solicitation documents and tender attachments are available free of charge and without registration on Buyandsell.gc.ca/tenders, the authoritative location for GC tenders.

You may have received this tender notice or award through a third-party distributor. The Government of Canada is not responsible for any tender notices and/or related documents and attachments not accessed directly through Buyandsell.gc.ca/tenders.

This Government of Canada tender notice or tender award carries an Open Government Licence - Canada that governs its use. Related solicitation documents and/or tender attachments are copyright protected. Please refer to the section about Commercial Reproduction in the Buyandsell.gc.ca Terms and Conditions for more information.


FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
attachment_1_-_question_and_answer_1_-_en578-17003-28.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2018-12-27
piece_jointe_1_-_questions_et_reponse_1_-_en578-17003-28.pdfNot availableFrench- 2018-12-27
attachment_2_-_english_webex_-_january_10.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-01-07
piece_jointe_2_-_webex_en_francais_-_le_10_janvier.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-01-07
attachment_3_-_english_webex_-_january_16.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-01-14
piece_jointe_3_-_webex_en_anglais_-_le_16_janvier.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-01-14