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When hurricanes strike, the main and immediate focus for first responders is rescuing and responding to those in need of aid. Last season, public safety officials relied on FirstNet to sustain and restore emergency communications for many hard-hit communities. FirstNet is critical to our nation’s first responders who battle storms day in and day out – and to those who have placed their confidence into the network’s communications capabilities to keep our communities safe
The Casper Police Department in Wyoming was one of the first agencies to use the FirstNet network in August 2017 when the city’s population was expected to nearly double during a solar eclipse. Four years later, FirstNet is providing Casper police officers with coverage across the city, dedicated applications to enhance operations, and connectivity to other city agencies during everyday incidents and major emergencies.
When the Dallas Police Department in Georgia needed to move from a secondary dispatch to an enhanced 9-1-1 public safety answering point, some solutions presented agency leaders with steep costs for technology and equipment upgrades. FirstNet provided the department with a cost-effective solution for dispatch, as well as additional benefits for officers in the field, allowing the dispatch center to transition in just a few months.
The Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan is a full-service law enforcement agency serving a largely urban community. Officers with the department began experiencing in-car computers slowing down and losing the ability to access systems and databases due to reduced bandwidth. Since switching to FirstNet, officers can access the software they need throughout the city, giving them greater mobility while providing cost savings to the department.
Members of the Mason County Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) in West Virginia often find themselves working in more remote parts of the county. Understanding the importance of remaining connected, DHSEM and other county agencies switched to FirstNet after extensive testing. The county’s public safety agencies are now using the network to improve patient care during longer hospital transports and to enhance communications at COVID-19 testing sites.
Paramedics with Bangs Ambulance in New York experienced cellular service dead zones throughout the rural Finger Lakes region. With FirstNet, the agency is taking advantage of capabilities like high-power user equipment, ensuring personnel have more reliable connectivity to send vital information to local hospitals.
Sheriff Neil Miller of the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska began implementing mobile data more than 20 years ago, and he continues to bring advanced technologies to increase the efficiency of operations for deputies. With FirstNet being built out throughout the state of Nebraska, deputies and other first responders are able to spend more time in the communities they serve.
When sudden, intense rainfall caused flash flooding and washed out roads in Washington County, Maine, the county’s emergency management director was stranded in town and unable to physically reach the emergency operations center. FirstNet enabled her to remain connected to her staff and other officials to coordinate their response remotely.
The second quarterly Third Generational Partnership Project (3GPP) Plenary e-meetings of 2021 focused on the completion of Release 17 (R17) stage 2 (architecture) work and preparation for prioritization of features for R18. The group declared the stage 2 work frozen, while allowing some work items to continue into the third quarter of 2021. At this time, the R17 stage 3 (protocol) freeze date remains on schedule for March 2022.
Penn State University Police and Public Safety joined FirstNet, connecting department personnel to a reliable, dedicated network. Using phones and tablets, officers can access tools and communicate during everyday incidents, packed football games, and emergency situations.