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Episode 64: Introducing the Public Safety Immersive Test Center: A VR Experience

The Public Safety Immersive Test Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide responders, researchers, and developers a virtual environment to develop, test, and evaluate public safety technologies. FirstNet Authority Chief Network Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher and Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division Chief Dereck Orr discuss the launch of the Test Center and the history of partnership between the FirstNet Authority and PSCR.

Putting FirstNet to the test for remote 9-1-1 operations

One thing the 9-1-1 community learned from the pandemic was the need to plan for alternate ways to work. Rather than be tied to workstations at fixed locations, 9-1-1 telecommunicators need flexibility to remotely take, dispatch, and supervise calls. In December 2021, Maryland telecommunicators put FirstNet to the test, demonstrating the network’s connectivity and reliability during remote operations.

Testing FirstNet’s mission-critical tech in the real world

How do FirstNet’s Z-Axis and Push-To-Talk work in real-life scenarios? The FirstNet Authority partnered with the Major County Sheriffs of America to conduct a technology trial of these capabilities. By putting the technology into the hands of officers on the job, we can evaluate its real-world usability, discover any adjustments needed, and plan for future upgrades.

Texas Law Enforcement Working with FirstNet Authority to Advance Technology

Law enforcement agencies in Texas are using FirstNet to connect devices, including drones, and relay critical information back to officers. The FirstNet Authority is working with these agencies to understand how the network can enhance future technologies.

Technology, safety, and FirstNet: the impact of 9/11 on modern firefighting

The tragedies of 9/11 underscored fundamental problems with communication systems used by our nation’s first responders. In the 20 years since 9/11, technology has changed rapidly. Fortunately, dedicated public safety broadband offered by FirstNet is providing fire departments with powerful new capabilities and modernizing their communications.

PSAC takes stock of FirstNet momentum during annual business meeting, announces new interim PSAC Chair

The FirstNet Authority’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held a business meeting to report on committee operations, the progress of strike teams and working groups, and FirstNet’s most recent accomplishments and activities.

PSAC Profile: International Municipal Signal Association

The International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) is dedicated to the safe installation, operation, and maintenance of public safety systems, representing over 8,800 members employed by government organizations and industry. IMSA has been an important member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, working to ensure the FirstNet network is designed to support all aspects of public safety’s critical communications needs.

PSAC Spring Business Meeting highlights FirstNet network innovation, expansion

The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its Spring Business Meeting to discuss the committee’s efforts in 2021 and its ongoing plans to support FirstNet’s growth and expansion. Discussions highlighted accomplishments and business updates in 2021, PSAC Strike Team efforts, and PSAC User Working Group updates.

After-Action Reviews Improve Broadband Experience for Responders Nationwide

As broadband becomes more prevalent in public safety communications, the FirstNet Authority offers the After Action Review (AAR) program — a free service available to any FirstNet subscribing agency to capture best practices and lessons learned related to event planning, logistics, operations, and technology use. The AAR program has made a positive impact on communications usage at events such as the New York International Air Show.

FirstNet Inject Catalog advances planning and preparation for public safety

The FirstNet Inject Catalog is a comprehensive searchable tool designed to help emergency planners integrate broadband capabilities into discussion-based (tabletop) and operational (functional and full-scale) exercises. Organizers of the 2019 Central State Communications Exercise, held in Quapaw, Oklahoma, used the Inject Catalog to demonstrate how broadband technologies could enhance operational communications throughout the central states’ region.