Because Emergencies Cross Jurisdictions: Sharing One Network Improves Communication

July 14, 2016

10 Ways FirstNet will Help Public Safety Save Lives and Secure Communities - A Blog Series

Across the country, millions of law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics and other public safety personnel bravely serve their communities every day. They answer the call when emergencies strike and risk their lives to secure and protect others. FirstNet is developing the first nationwide public safety broadband network to provide first responders the advanced communication and collaboration technologies they need to help them do their jobs safely and effectively. We’re kicking off a new blog series on 10 ways FirstNet will help public safety save lives and secure communities. In today’s blog, learn how public safety will benefit from FirstNet’s single, interoperable, nationwide network.

Because Emergencies Cross Jurisdictions: Sharing One Network Improves Communication and Outcomes

CLICK TO WATCH: City of Mesa (AZ) Fire Chief Harry Beck discusses the advantages of interoperable emergency communications

Today, first responders rely on more than 10,000 separate, incompatible and often proprietary radio networks to communicate with each other during emergencies. Because they’re not connected on one network, it’s hard, and at times impossible, for emergency responders from different jurisdictions or from different public safety organizations to communicate and work together to save lives.

That’s where the FirstNet network will come in. FirstNet will help solve the communications challenges that our nation’s public safety personnel have faced in responding to local emergencies, as well as large-scale emergencies such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

The FirstNet network will be a single, nationwide, interoperable LTE network for public safety communications. Built through an innovative public-private partnership, it will give first responders true priority in emergency situations to send voice or text messages, images, video and location information in real-time. It will enable information sharing across disciplines and jurisdictions; dramatically increase situational awareness; and support faster, more effective responses to emergencies or disasters.

Harry Beck, Fire Chief for the City of Mesa Fire/Medical Department in Arizona, sees opportunities for this type of integration between fire, medical and law enforcement. “There is some synergy [for fire] with the data that’s collected from law enforcement, as well as the data that fire collects for law enforcement,” he said. “And the ability to share that back and forth, especially in real-time in the event of an emergency, is absolutely critical.”

Real-time information sharing will allow public safety to better use its limited resources to improve the overall outcome of coordinated emergency responses, he added.

The FirstNet network will help fire departments like Chief Beck’s, as well as law enforcement, EMS and other public safety agencies in all 56 U.S. states and territories, break communication barriers and support interoperable communications among first responders nationwide.


Are you involved in public safety in your community? Click HERE to let us know how you want FirstNet to help you improve your communication and outcomes for your community or HERE to let us know about your story of broadband/data use.

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