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Video Blog: FirstNet 2016 Consultation Program - Part 2

February 11, 2016

FirstNet is pleased to present the following video – the second in a two-part series – highlighting our plans and priorities for consultation beginning this year. We have developed four key elements to meet the three goals to guide our consultation activities, to include (1) FirstNet/SPOC Follow on Meetings, (2) Governance Body Meetings, (3) Consultation Task Teams, (4) Executive Consultation Meetings.

Tech Talk: FirstNet's Focus on Standards Development

February 10, 2016

By Dean Prochaska, FirstNet Director of Standards
This blog post is the first in a "Tech Talk" series that will focus on FirstNet’s standards development activities. This entry provides background and context for FirstNet’s standards strategy, as well as an overview of our progress to date. In subsequent blog entries, we will discuss how standards development organizations work, provide details about the features we are already addressing, and preview new initiatives that will be explored in the coming year.

FirstNet Staff attends training at Center for Domestic Preparedness

February 9, 2016

By Zachary Smith, FirstNet Emergency Management Specialist
FirstNet staff recently had the opportunity to attend training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala.  The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation.

How FEMA Delivers Anytime, Anywhere Information During Disasters

February 5, 2016

This blog is a repost from the DigitalGov.gov about a FEMA SMS service and app to that can push alerts and assistance information to mobile users – including first responders – during disasters and emergency situations.
No one wants to feel helpless in an emergency situation. To provide tips and assistance anytime, anywhere, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stepped up their mobile game.

In American Samoa, Collaboration Is Key to NPSBN Planning, Deployment

February 3, 2016

By Keone Kali, FirstNet Region 9 Lead
It was clear after the American Samoa Initial Consultation Meeting that the island territory, with its unique terrain and remote location, has a number of communication challenges that must taken into consideration early in the planning for the nationwide public safety broadband network. Partnerships in American Samoa are also fundamental given that additional resources take time to reach the island in the event of an emergency. To that end, American Samoa’s public safety entities and communities are working together to meet the needs of their island community, and many believe FirstNet can be another tool to support that goal.

PSAC Task Teams on ICAM, Local Control Kick Off Work

February 1, 2016

Guest Blog Post by Chief Harlin R. McEwen, Chairman, Public Safety Advisory Committee
The FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) is made up of 42 representatives from public safety and local, state, territory and tribal organizations. The PSAC offers guidance, information, and public safety expertise to FirstNet staff and the Board to ensure that user needs and public safety operational capabilities are included in the nationwide public safety broadband network. Established in 2013, PSAC members volunteer our time to assist FirstNet and assure that public safety’s voice is heard in the development of the network.

U.S./Canada CAUSE IV Experiment

The Snow Wall

January 27, 2016

As cities and towns along the East Coast dig out and clean up from the blizzard that stretched from Raleigh to Boston this week, FirstNet would like to acknowledge public safety's efforts to make their communities safe before, during, and after the storm. A significant winter weather event is also the subject of the following video about communications challenges that emergency responders experienced during a blizzard that dumped up to seven feet in parts of Western New York in 2014.

New Jersey Initial Consultation Highlights State's Early Builder Project (JerseyNet)

January 27, 2016

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
During most initial consultations, FirstNet and the state discuss what a data network for public safety could do.  New Jersey was able to show what it can do with a demonstration of its New Jersey Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) project, also known as JerseyNet, during its Initial Consultation meeting late last year.

Virginia Consultation Highlights the Importance of Technology Investments for First Responders

January 21, 2016

By Jeremy Zollo, Deputy Director of Consultation
Despite a looming hurricane landfall and flooding throughout the state, nearly 110 public safety stakeholders came together for the Virginia Initial Consultation meeting held last year in Richmond. The day's proceedings began with welcoming remarks from Brian Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security (PSHS), and Adam Thiel, state Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and PSHS Deputy Secretary.

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