The Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition (CVHC) is one of six coalitions in the Commonwealth of Virginia and helps its membership plan, train, and respond to incidents and events in the region. FirstNet is supporting communications for CVHC during emergencies, in its response to COVID-19, and in preparation for large events and protests. 

Over the last four years, this partnership between the FirstNet Authority and AT&T has brought together the very best in the public and private sectors with a singular focus on supporting public safety’s mission. Together, we are delivering on our commitment to the public safety community: to provide a single nationwide, interoperable network for the millions of police, fire, EMS, and public safety workers across the country. Last year, the FirstNet Authority Board directed our first investments for the network, which included initial upgrades to the FirstNet Core to enable access to 5G services for FirstNet subscribers. Today, we are pleased to join AT&T in announcing this initial investment is becoming a reality. FirstNet subscribers will have access to AT&T’s 5G mmWave spectrum in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues across the country beginning this month. 

As broadband becomes more prevalent in public safety communications, the FirstNet Authority offers the After Action Review (AAR) program — a free service available to any FirstNet subscribing agency to capture best practices and lessons learned related to event planning, logistics, operations, and technology use. The AAR program has made a positive impact on communications usage at events such as the New York International Air Show.

The FirstNet Inject Catalog is a comprehensive searchable tool designed to help emergency planners integrate broadband capabilities into discussion-based (tabletop) and operational (functional and full-scale) exercises. Organizers of the 2019 Central State Communications Exercise, held in Quapaw, Oklahoma, used the Inject Catalog to demonstrate how broadband technologies could enhance operational communications throughout the central states’ region.

The FirstNet Authority team offers advance planning and preparation support to FirstNet users. We work closely with public safety agencies to understand the event, identify first responders’ needs and desired capabilities for that day, and work with our network partner, AT&T, to identify what broadband solutions and coverage are needed to successfully support the event.