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Illinois is a tech-savvy state that is home to Chicago and Springfield, as well as sprawling farmlands that cover nearly three-quarters of the state. Illinois first responders support the almost 12.9 million people who call Illinois home, providing services for large events like the annual Illinois State Fair, University of Illinois football games, and the Chicago Marathon. They must also contend with the state’s harsh weather and natural disasters that range from ice storms to tornadoes to flooding.

The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Illinois first responders face. We have been working closely with Illinois public safety officials since 2014, capturing their feedback and translating it into the design of the FirstNet network. During the development of state deployment plans, our team worked hand-in-hand with Illinois leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:

  • Expanding rural coverage beyond what is currently available
  • Offering affordable services to public safety across the state
  • Delivering a network for public safety with increased geographical coverage, redundancy, and resiliency

Following this close collaboration, Illinois chose to adopt the plan and “opt in” to FirstNet. Today, we continue to meet regularly with state and local officials to discuss their public safety broadband needs. In 2019 alone, our team met with Illinois public safety officials 25 times. Our engagements in Illinois included attending the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association Conference, co-hosting three Regional User Forums in collaboration with Illinois, and visiting the LeRoy Emergency Ambulance Service. Engagements like these are crucial to the ongoing success of the network and the advancement of public safety communications across the state and the nation.

Connect with our team of Public Safety Advisors to learn about FirstNet in your community

Illinois's FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisor

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I would say unequivocally that every agency should have FirstNet devices. The data quality has been phenomenal, and the support we have received is second to none.
Keenan Campbell
Situation Unit Leader for Illinois Incident Management Team

FirstNet in Action in Illinois

  • Ambulance runs can go to the most remote of places—in both rural and urban environments. A useful piece of technology for EMS is FirstNet’s high-power user equipment, or HPUE. HPUE boosts signal power up to six times the normal strength at the edges of the network. Lieutenant Humza Shamsuddin, Technology Director for the Bristol Kendall Fire Protection District in Illinois, explains how his agency uses HPUE for EMS.