At the March 2020 FirstNet Authority Board and Committee Meeting, updates were made to the Public Safety Advisory Committee’s (PSAC) charter to improve the PSAC’s operations in order to best support the FirstNet network and the first responder community.
At the annual Winter Institute Workshop and Exercise, hosted by the Texas A&M University’s Internet 2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), public safety officials evaluate technologies in real-life scenarios to help shape future technologies and research. During the 2020 exercise, participants practiced integrating new technologies, including a FirstNet deployable, into disaster operations during a simulated cyberattack.
K9s tackle jobs that are impossible for humans and technology; broadband helps keep them safe and connected
First responders rely on dogs for many tasks that no human or technology can do. As K9 units continue to proliferate across public safety, industry is designing new technologies to keep them safe and increase their effectiveness. Many of these technologies require a reliable, secure broadband connection to function properly.
The Canton Fire Department transitioned to FirstNet to augment radio communications, enhance planning and response with new data capabilities, and address coverage gaps in their small town, 15 miles south of Boston.
The Hamilton County Communications Center (HCCC) in Ohio is responsible for dispatch services for public safety agencies across the county. Access to FirstNet’s robust and reliable platform is helping tactical dispatchers at the Communications Center.
Junction City Fire Department’s EMS services a rural, Midwest community in Kansas. They’re using FirstNet to address communication challenges, whether for long distance transports to the nearest trauma facility, coordinating regional recovery efforts after a tornado, or deploying across the country to respond to a national disaster.
During a large-scale incident at an airport, commercial networks can quickly become overloaded and cripple traditional analog radio systems for emergency response efforts. To prepare for this situational challenge, first responders tested the FirstNet network during a routine emergency management exercise at TF Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island.
On Memorial Day 2019, nearly 55 tornadoes touched down in eight states across the country. Ohio saw some of the worst damage, including an EF3 tornado that tore through Beavercreek Township. Kyle Richardson, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, describes the damage caused by this tornado and how the Beavercreek Township Fire Department used FirstNet to assist with damage assessment efforts.
Over the past decade, police chiefs nationwide have begun to increase their departments’ use of mobile broadband technology. A reliable mobile broadband network helps agencies capture and share information, coordinate with other agencies, and take advantage of new technologies to protect and serve their communities. David Cook, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, reviews how police departments in New York are benefiting from FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.
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.