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Virginia Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Provides Assistance To Nepal Earthquake

August 28, 2015

By Zachary Smith, FirstNet Emergency Management Specialist, and Fairfax County volunteer firefighter
The FirstNet team was recently treated to an insider’s look at the urban search and rescue effort in Nepal following the devastating April 25, 2015 earthquake when John Morrison, Planning Section Chief of the Urban Search and Rescue Team, Virginia Task Force 1, delivered a presentation at our Reston headquarters about the Task Force’s role in the effort.  His presentation provided interesting details about how responders established and used communications used during the search and rescue operation.

Alabama Initial Consultation Meeting

August 26, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, Director of Outreach
More than 60 public safety officials representing a huge range of stakeholders attended the Alabama Initial Consultation on July 15 in Huntsville. Many members of the Alabama First Responder Wireless Commission also attended the consultation, along with representatives from the major disciplines, the Governor's Office, and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Also in the room were Alabama’s Chief Information Officer Brunson White and FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Member Sherriff Larry Amerson, along with guests from industry and the nearby states of Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

FirstNet Video Blog: Tribal Data Collection

August 25, 2015

By Carl Rebstock, FirstNet Tribal Government Outreach
FirstNet is pleased to present this two-minute video for tribal audiences. Our aim is to encourage collaboration with states in collecting network planning data before 30 September 2015. We will incorporate this vital information from public safety professionals and tribal communities into our Request for Proposals (RFP) for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

Tennessee Interoperability Conference Provides Opportunity for "Real Time" Input to Data Collection

August 24, 2015

By Doug Harder, FirstNet State Plans
FirstNet welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Tennessee Interoperable Communications Conference on August 5-6, 2015 in Cool Springs, Tennessee. Participation was encouraging with about 150 attendees representing 34 agencies during the two-day conference. Participating agencies included state, county, municipal, and university law enforcement; EMS; fire; rescue squads; state and local Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs); the state health department; the state department of transportation; industry representatives; and public safety dispatchers.

SPOCs Report Continued Successes as Data Collection Efforts Ramp Up

August 20, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
As part of our continuing outreach and coordination with the states and territories, FirstNet conducted individualized outreach to each of the 56 State and Territory Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) in July. The purpose of these calls was to underscore the importance of data collection for informing FirstNet’s acquisition toward a Comprehensive Network Solution(s) and state plans development, understand everyone’s current data collection status, and determine if any further support may be needed from FirstNet.

FirstNet Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Report, Achieves “Clean” Audit Opinion

August 14, 2015

By Kim S. Farington, Acting Chief Financial Officer
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) reached a major goal recently by achieving an unmodified, or “clean,” audit opinion on our Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) financial statements by an independent auditor. The FY14 Financial Report, which includes the Independent Auditors’ Report, can be accessed on our Resources page in the Reports section:

North Dakota Initial Consultation Highlights Rural, Industrial Coverage Challenges

August 13, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
FirstNet’s Initial Consultation meeting with North Dakota last month was the 38th session in the first round of state consultations. With the completion of this meeting in North Dakota’s capitol building in Bismarck, FirstNet had met with two-thirds of the nation’s states and territories.

Resilience Starts with Being Ready: Better Preparing Our Coasts to Cope with Environmental Disasters

August 10, 2015

If your house were burning down, who would you want to respond? The local firefighters, armed with hoses and broad training in first aid, firefighting, and crowd management? Or would your panicked neighbors running back and forth with five-gallon buckets of water suffice? Presumably, everyone would choose the trained firefighters. Why? Well, because they know what they are doing! People who know what they are doing instill confidence and reduce panic—even in the worst situations.

U.S. Virgin Islands Initial Consultation Meeting Addresses Key “Use Cases,” Data Collection

August 7, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
Members of the FirstNet consultation team traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) earlier this year for the territory’s Initial Consultation meeting. There, we were joined by more than 50 public safety stakeholders from USVI for the consultation meeting. Bureau of Information Technology Program Manager Junior Garcia delivered opening remarks during which he noted that key stakeholders were in attendance from the National Guard, USVI Police Department, USVI Fire Service, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Louisiana Highlights "Real World” Use Cases, LWIN during Initial Consultation Meeting

August 4, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
Members of FirstNet’s consultation team recently traveled to Baton Rouge, LA, for the state’s initial consultation meeting, which included about 90 state and local representatives from the Bayou State. Christopher Guilbeaux, who is Deputy Director of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and Louisiana’s Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, kicked off the meeting and set the stage for a lively, engaging, and productive dialogue between FirstNet and Louisiana’s public safety community.


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