Maine is known for its natural beauty, with rocky beaches on its coast and expansive forests inland. In fact, our northeastern-most state is almost 90 percent forested. Although it’s a highly rural state, it is also home to a thriving tourist industry. Public safety must work to protect both the residents and the numerous visitors who enjoy Maine’s beaches, waterways, and wilderness, year-round.
The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Maine first responders face. We have been working closely with Maine 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 Maine leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:
- Enhancing coverage along Maine’s vast shoreline and waterways
- Enabling seamless communications among New England’s first responders through expanded coverage and innovative solutions
- Providing an interoperable network experience across the State and along the Canadian border, allowing state, local, and federal agencies to effectively communicate with each other and with volunteer emergency responders
Following this close collaboration, Maine 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 Maine public safety officials more than 20 times. Our engagements in Maine included participating in the Convention of Maine Counties, attending the Maine Municipal Association Fall Conference, and meeting with the Maine Interoperable Committee. 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.
- The community of Jackman, Maine, has taken an innovative approach to providing emergency care quickly and efficiently. With the help of FirstNet, paramedics in Jackman can conduct telehealth sessions and treat residents at the local health clinic or in their homes, rather than transporting patients to a hospital over an hour away.
- When sudden, intense rainfall caused flash flooding and washed out roads in Washington County, Maine, the county’s emergency management director was stranded in town and unable to physically reach the emergency operations center. FirstNet enabled her to remain connected to her staff and other officials to coordinate their response remotely.