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During a large-scale incident at an airport, first responders are attending crash victims on runway.

No turbulence for FirstNet at Rhode Island airport exercise and drill

February 6, 2020

During a large-scale incident at an airport, commercial networks can quickly become overloaded and cripple traditional analog radio systems for emergency response efforts. With FirstNet, a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety, first responders can depend on reliable coverage to help them effectively and efficiently address emergencies.

During a routine emergency management exercise at TF Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency tested the network’s capabilities.  The exercise simulated an aircraft accident with mass casualties. Representatives from the RI Department of Health, RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, and area hospitals, RI Air National Guard, RI State Police and the RI Disaster Medical Assistance Team used FirstNet enabled devices to help manage communications between care teams and the emergency communications center. Despite being a significant distance apart, first responders remained operational and connected during the drill. They were able to exchange information in real-time, making sure crash victims were tended to swiftly and properly.

“By having FirstNet both at our command post and also deployed with first responders, it would assist them to ensure they have reliable communications to manage that incident,” said Christopher McGrath, Operations Support Branch Chief, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

To learn more about the FirstNet Authority’s public safety programs, including for FirstNet-related exercises, please email us at

Watch the FirstNet Authority’s coverage from the drill at T.F. Green Airport: