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Latest NOAA Mapping Software opens up New Possibilities for Emergency Responders

February 27, 2015

This blog is a repost from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration, posted February 5, 2015.
For 20 years, thousands of emergency planners and responders have used the MARPLOT mapping software to respond to hazardous chemical spills. But creative MARPLOT users have also employed the program for a wide range of other uses, including dispatching air ambulances and helping identify a serial arsonist.

On the Road: National Association of Tower Erectors Annual Conference

February 26, 2015

By Ed Parkinson, FirstNet Director of Government Affairs
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) held their annual conference event this week in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, bringing together key decision-makers from the tower industry to discuss wireless industry safety, big data, small-cell deployment, and more. This year marked a major milestone for the organization and its members – it is their 20th year in operation.

State Consultation Update – Keeping Track on FirstNet.gov

February 25, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
One of FirstNet’s top priorities in 2015 is consultation with all 56 states and territories. The FirstNet User Advocacy Team designs the initial consultation meetings to meet each state’s needs and to incorporate key lessons we learn from the process as it evolves. These initial meetings aim to to help states and territories understand the relationship between FirstNet and the state or territory and how the parties will work together over the next several years.

Real-world Communication Examples Highlight Texas Initial Consultation Meeting

February 23, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
In the 14 consultation meetings that FirstNet has conducted to date, we have learned a lot about state- and territory-specific needs for the deployment and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). Throughout this process, we have collected real world examples that have helped us understand how first responders currently use broadband in their day-to-day operations, as well as how the technology could have been useful if it was available on a dedicated basis during an emergency.

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Winter Meeting

February 20, 2015

By Jessica Zufolo, Federal Grants Strategy Director
Last weekend I had the honor of participating on a federal agency panel at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Winter Committee meetings in Washington, D.C. The winter meetings attract on average more than 2,500 participants involved in utility and broadband infrastructure investment, regulation, policy development, resiliency and security.

On the Road: 2015 Alaska Fire Chiefs Association Leadership Summit

February 19, 2015

By Victoria Lee, FirstNet Association Manager
The Alaska Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) held its annual leadership summit recently in the state’s capital of Juneau. The five-day event was focused on continuing development of skills and knowledge, and featured presentations from representatives of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Western Fire Chiefs Association, Alaska State Firefighters Association, Alaska Municipal League Department, and more.

Public Safety LTE Demo Network at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships

February 17, 2015

By Jeff Bratcher, FirstNet Acting Chief Technical Officer
Last week, staff from the FirstNet technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, attended the Colorado Public Safety Long Term Evolution (PS LTE) demonstration at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships (AWSC). The AWSC attracts more than 150,000 athletes and spectators to events held in multiple locations throughout Eagle County over two weeks in the high-mountain terrain of the Beaver Creek resort and the Town of Vail.

Early Builder's Blog: Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA RICS)

February 12, 2015

This is the third in a series of blog reports on FirstNet’s role in and observations from the five “Early Builder” (EB) public safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network projects. The EBs include four National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grantees in New Jersey, Adams County (Colorado), the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority (LA-RICS), and New Mexico, as well as Harris County (Texas), which is being funded through other grants and local contributions.

Taking Data and Making It Easier to Understand

February 11, 2015

This blog is a repost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website, posted January 09, 2015.
By Shayne Adamski
I know that understanding data can sometimes be daunting, especially if you’re looking at a spreadsheet with rows, upon rows, upon rows of data. To make our data easier to understand, a small project team and I have been working on an innovative data visualization tool designed to help you better understand how we support communities and help visualize it in a way that tells a story.

On the Road: Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Interoperable Nationwide Advanced Communications

February 9, 2015

Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
The Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Interoperable Nationwide Advanced Communications (MACINAC) held its 2nd Annual Public Safety Broadband Workshop on January 28-29, 2015. The event, held in in Richmond, Virginia, featured presentations and discussions on recent communications developments in the region to the approximately 80 public, private, and non-profit sector representatives in attendance.

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