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Washington first responders face the challenges of responding in Seattle and other growing urban areas, rural farms in Eastern Washington, the mountainous terrain of the Cascades, and on the lands of the state’s 29 federally recognized tribes. Protecting the state’s sea ports and shared international border with Canada also keeps public safety on high alert.
The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Washington first responders face. We have been working closely with Washington 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 Washington leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:
- Expanding rural and tribal coverage as well as extending coverage to major thoroughfares in the state
- Making deployable network assets available quickly for emergency and natural disaster incidents in rural areas, as well as for planned events
Following this close collaboration, Washington 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, our engagements included quarterly planning meetings with the Governor’s staff and other state leaders; formal consultation with the Colville Tribe of Indians; an in-depth discussion with the Makah Tribe in northwestern Washington; and meetings with the King County Sheriff’s Office, Bainbridge Island first responders, and the Washington E911 Advisory Board. 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.
Whether we’re responding to wildfires in eastern Washington or floods in western Washington, our first responders must have a reliable communications network and this process was about ensuring we get them the best service possible. I look forward to continuing ahead with AT&T to ensure our first responders have the best tools available to them in times of crisis.