In August, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) hosted the third annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival in Shawnee, Oklahoma, this year attracting an estimated 20,000 attendees. Large events like the balloon festival require months of advance preparation to ensure the community’s safety and security. As part of these efforts, festival planners had to prepare for potential impacts on public safety communications, including commercial network congestion.

In December 2019, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) held its final quarterly meeting of the year in Sitges, Spain. Dean Prochaska, FirstNet Authority Director of Standards, summarizes the discussion and what the standards body is working toward next.

When disaster strikes or large crowds gather, public safety officials need a broadband network they can rely on to remain connected. FirstNet’s fleet of deployables is an important resource for emergency managers for planned and unplanned events to ensure that connection is available. First Responder Network Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor Timothy Pierce describes the deployables that are available to FirstNet subscribers and how those resources can make a difference for first responders.

Nicknamed the “Hall of Fame City,” each year Canton plays host to the Enshrinement Festival and, like other large events, it involves months of advance planning to ensure that first responders across multiple disciplines can communicate seamlessly and without disruption.

Historic Annapolis, Maryland, hosts nearly two million tourists annually, and public safety officials are responsible for protecting these visitors and local residents throughout the town and in the surrounding Chesapeake Bay. City leadership recognizes the necessity of reliable communications for these first responders and is rolling out FirstNet city-wide. FirstNet Authority’s Senior Public Safety Advisor Lori Stone discusses this initiative and how it is benefiting Annapolis’ public safety community.