A SatCOLT, a Rapid Communications Vehicle, a Compact Rapid Deployable

Investing in the Future of FirstNet: Expanding Our Deployable Fleet for Public Safety

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority)  worked together with the public safety community to understand their critical communications needs. To make use of mobile broadband for daily operations and emergencies, first responders told us they needed the network to be available when and where they needed it most.The FirstNet fleet of deployables now consists of more than 100 assets available to FirstNet subscribers by request.

Sound wave; An app developer tries on firefighting gear, pulls on a glove

Explore Innovation in Public Safety Communications with the FirstNet Authority at PSCR 2021

The FirstNet Authority is joining PSCR 2021, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division’s virtual annual Stakeholder Meeting. Through plenaries, on-demand sessions, and live question and answer sessions, the FirstNet Authority team will discuss standards work, innovation in public safety communications technology, and how the pandemic changed operations for first responders.

Karima Holmes headshot; Emergency communication center

FirstNet Provides Reliability and Expands Opportunities for Emergency Communications Centers

Traditionally, emergency telecommunicators have been limited to operating within the walls of an emergency communications center. As technology evolves, dispatch operations are moving to the field to support first responders and remotely to keep telecommunicators safe. FirstNet provides a secure, reliable network for these operations, and priority and preemption on the network ensures telecommunicators can access all the information they need, when and where they need it most.

PSAC Spring Business Meeting highlights FirstNet network innovation, expansion; FirstNet Authority logo; PSAC members seated at a table in a meeting

PSAC Spring Business Meeting highlights FirstNet network innovation, expansion

The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its Spring Business Meeting to discuss the committee’s efforts in 2021 and its ongoing plans to support FirstNet’s growth and expansion. Discussions highlighted accomplishments and business updates in 2021, PSAC Strike Team efforts, and PSAC User Working Group updates.

Tribal responders loading boxes onto the back of a vehicle; Forklift operator moving pallets of boxes; Tribal first responders standing outside a warehouse; Tribal first responders loading a small plane

FirstNet Connects Tribal First Responders During Pandemic

The National Tribal Emergency Management Council (NTEMC) works to help tribes across the country build sustainable emergency management programs. When the pandemic hit, NTEMC began supporting Indian Country by leading logistics to distribute food and personal protective equipment. NTEMC requested FirstNet deployables to support communications in rural areas, allowing the non-profit to carry out operations. 

The American Public Works Association (APWA), logo and image of Public Safety Advisory Committee representatives making a presentation at a FirstNet Authority Board Meeting.

PSAC Profile: American Public Works Association (APWA)

Public works officials are a critical component of preparedness and response, working alongside law enforcement, fire, and EMS personnel to respond to emergency events. The American Public Works Association (APWA) serves as the leading organization representing municipal and county public agencies responsible for over 70% of the U.S. road systems and much of the nation’s other public infrastructure. APWA has been a valued member of the PSAC since its inception, making sure that broad interoperability is built into the FirstNet network.

A police officer uses a tablet while standing by a police patrol car; headshot of Harry Markley

Meet the Expert: Law Enforcement Advisor Harry Markley Sees a Safer, More Secure Future with FirstNet

FirstNet Authority Senior Law Enforcement Advisor Harry Markley spent more than 30 years with the Phoenix Police Department, rising through the ranks and serving in nearly every part of the department. At the FirstNet Authority, he works with law enforcement to understand how mobile broadband can fit into their operations and how FirstNet can help keep officers and the public safe.      

Photo of a 3GPP meeting room with people sitting at tables and working on computers, overlaid with gear icons and wireless network terminology: RAN, 5G, V2X, Core, MCdata."

3GPP Quarterly Meetings Focus on 5G NR Sidelink Interfaces, Stage 2 Architecture Work

The first quarterly Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Plenary e-meetings of 2021 recently concluded. At the March meetings, the 3GPP momentum continued with more Release 17 progress and a focus on the upcoming June deadline for stage 2 (architecture) work. There were major discussions on the use of the 5G New Radio (NR) sidelink interface to support both user equipment (UE) to network (U2N) relay and UE to UE (U2U) relay.

Fire burns on a smoky horizon with pine trees in the foreground

Advanced communication tech at Cameron Peak

The Cameron Peak Fire was the largest wildland fire in Colorado’s history. Don Patterson, a firefighter and communications expert, deployed to the fire knowing that broadband communications would play a huge role, particularly with the threat of COVID-19. Deployables and other advanced technologies helped everyone communicate — from incident command at the base camp to frontline firefighters.