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State Spotlight: Q&A with Arizona FirstNet Program Manager Michael Britt

Friday, August 29, 2014

Michael Britt brings more than two decades of Information Technology experience to his job as the Arizona FirstNet Program Manager. In the latest State Spotlight feature, Michael talks to FirstNet about how his background working for a national overnight express company – which relied on an interoperable nationwide system – is helping him prepare Arizona for the nationwide public safety broadband network. He also talks about his approach to conducting statewide outreach and education about FirstNet.

On the Road: State Technology Directors Conference in Idaho

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Brian Hobson, FirstNet State Plans Technical Lead
Information sharing and partnering were the main topics of discussion on the FirstNet panel at yesterday's National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) Annual Conference & Technology Showcase in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The panel included technology and public safety officials from Texas, New Mexico, and Maine discussing their states’ outreach efforts and key considerations for the public safety broadband network. The panel was moderated by Charile Sasser, who is a senior officer for the state of Georgia and serves as NASTD's representative to the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).

North Carolina Works to Update, Increase Awareness about ReadyNC App

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is the second in a two-part series about a mobile application designed to enhance readiness in the state of North Carolina. In today’s feature, FirstNet highlights the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s continuing efforts to increase awareness of the app and update its functions.

OpenStreetMap in the Great Smoky Mountains

Monday, August 25, 2014

Today the National Parks Service (NPS) celebrates its 98th birthday. To commemorate this occasion, FirstNet is reposting this NPS blog about an open data mapping application that enhances location data and situational awareness for park visitors. FirstNet thanks the nation's park rangers for their service in keeping the country's 401 national parks safe and secure.

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.

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