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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet the Expert: Fire Services Advisor Gary McCarraher Reflects on the Evolution of Technology and the Future of Firefighting
FirstNet Authority Senior Fire Services Advisor Gary McCarraher spent more than 45 years in fire and EMS, serving as fire chief of three departments. At the FirstNet Authority, he works with fire services personnel to understand the needs of firefighters and how FirstNet can provide greater situational awareness when responding to wildfires and urban fires.
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.