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On the Road: FirstNet Outreach to States, Cities, Towns and Public Safety

Friday, August 22, 2014

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
The FirstNet Outreach team took advantage of several opportunities this week to engage with representatives from state and local agencies and elected officials and exchange information with them about FirstNet developments. This includes presentations at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Minneapolis; the Nevada Telecommunications Association (NTA) meeting; the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Conference; and at the Phoenix Fire Department.

Using Social Media to Engage with Federal Partners, Public Safety Stakeholders

Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Bernetta Reese, Web and New Media Manager
This week FirstNet participated on a panel called “Social Media in Government: Making the Most of Your Investment” hosted by the Potomac Forum, Ltd. in Washington, D.C. The workshop was designed to review the current state of social communication technology and policy and discuss examples of how social media is being used and governed effectively. It also addressed future uses of technology and communications for social media and how staff managers and executives can measure and evaluate the benefits and outcomes for new media activities.

North Carolina Develops Mobile App to Enhance Preparedness

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Many States and territories are looking to use new technologies and applications to share information with the public during disaster situations. North Carolina is one of those states. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NC DPS) launched a new application called ReadyNC at an opportune time: just days before a major winter storm that shut down schools and businesses across the state for several days this past January.

On the Road: FirstNet in the First State

Monday, August 18, 2014

By Rich Reed, FirstNet Director of State Plans
I recently had the chance to visit with Delaware state and public safety officials during a meeting of the State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) Broadband Working Group. Delaware may be second smallest state in the U.S. with only three counties, but it is one of the most densely populated states in the country and has more than 7,000 state and non-state agencies that require interoperable and operable communications for public safety purposes.

Visit to the Pacific Northwest Emphasizes FirstNet’s Mission for Public Safety

Friday, August 15, 2014

By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Acting General Manager
I had the opportunity to head to the Pacific Northwest this week to visit with public safety professionals and discuss FirstNet’s progress and all the work that we are dedicated to complete. Great discussions were amplified with strategic urgency for improving public safety communications to enhance capabilities in everyday operations. It is already a busy fire season, and the northwest has had more than its share of devastating wildfires. Almost half of the 2.5 million acres burned by wildfires this year are in Washington and Oregon. The current fires are still blazing in Washington state – which began from a lighting strike more than a month ago – and have now consumed nearly 300,000 acres and destroyed over 300 homes in Okanogan County and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. This devastating fire has been reported as the worst in all of the country. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) prediction earlier this month does not indicate any slowing down of above normal significant wildland fires for the west coast in August.

On the Road: 2014 Fire-Rescue International Conference

Thursday, August 14, 2014

By Victoria Lee, FirstNet Association Manager
The 2014 Fire-Rescue International (FRI) conference hosted by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) brought together more than 10,000 fire and emergency service leaders from all over the world to Dallas, TX for five days of learning, networking and collaboration. It was great to catch up with Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) members Chief Gary McCarraher, IAFC Communications Committee Chair, and Chief Doug Aiken, National Public Safety Telecommunications Council Vice Chair.

Oregon Outreach: FirstNet by the Numbers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

As Oregon’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet, Steve Noel is constantly looking for impactful ways to explain the public safety broadband network and how it will benefit first responders in his state. Through his outreach and awareness efforts, Steve has talked to hundreds of public safety stakeholders across Oregon over the past couple of years about the need for a nationwide public safety broadband network and the national and statewide efforts to plan for the build-out.

APCO Recap: FirstNet Highlights and Photos

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FirstNet participated in the 80th Annual Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Conference and Expo in New Orleans last week. The sessions were educational and informative about lessons learned, current best practices and future plans for public safety communications.

Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER)

Monday, August 11, 2014

There’s a critical window for survival, referred to as the golden hour, after an emergency or disaster. Breakthroughs in technology can help first responders locate victims faster and save lives. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have jointly developed a radar-based technology for response and recovery operations.

APCO 2014: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Thursday, August 7, 2014

By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Acting General Manager
The final session on the last day of a conference has the potential to be flat: attendees often have one hand on their suitcases and – no matter how topical and informative the conference panels, general sessions, and the exhibit hall are – most conference-goers are more concerned about making their return trips home. However, that wasn’t the case yesterday afternoon during the FirstNet Town Hall forum at the APCO 2014 Conference and Exhibit. The room was at capacity, and there was a lively dialogue between FirstNet officials and more than 100 representatives from the 911, first responder, and vendor communities.


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