The Oregon Department of Human Services is preparing for a potential Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. The agency identified locations that could become isolated from the surrounding communities if a disaster occurred. To prepare the state for this and other hazards, ODHS purchased 10 Compact Rapid Deployables from FirstNet and stationed them across the state, specifically targeting vulnerable areas.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks division has partnered with FirstNet to ensure seamless communication in emergency situations. During a flood assessment, Beltrami County’s disaster recovery team used a MegaGo kit – a network boosting device – to connect to FirstNet to bolster communication in this remote part of Northern Minnesota.
The FirstNet Authority invested in an in-building solution called Cell Booster Pro to bring better indoor FirstNet coverage to police headquarters and other public safety buildings. With this new program, public safety agencies can install up to 50 devices across multiple locations—at no cost to the agency—to boost FirstNet inside the buildings where they work.
EMTs and paramedics can be called to duty in incredibly hard-to-reach locations, and they need connectivity where their mission takes them. Compact Rapid Deployables are a unique FirstNet coverage solution that keeps public safety connected even in the toughest spots.
Hyannis, Massachusetts, serves as the economic and transportation hub for Cape Cod and as a major tourist destination in the summer months. As the town’s population ebbs and swells throughout the year, the Hyannis Fire Department faces communication challenges. Whether on land or at sea, FirstNet provides personnel with a reliable connection to the information they need to make critical decisions.
When Iowa needed a backup communications network for its public safety answering points, the state turned to FirstNet. Blake DeRouchey, 9-1-1 program manager for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, shared how Iowa uses FirstNet as a failover so 9-1-1 calls stay connected.
In 2022, the FirstNet Authority reached two major milestones: the 10-year anniversary of the legislation that created FirstNet and the five-year anniversary of the FirstNet Authority’s public-private partnership with AT&T. In the coming years, the FirstNet Authority will continue to build out the network, bring dedicated coverage to urban and rural areas, and invest in cutting-edge public safety technologies.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) represents over 2,300 counties and provides legislative, research, and technical services to help serve the needs of the public. As part of these efforts, NACo works with public safety organizations to establish local priorities and align resources to achieve public safety goals. Through its participation on the Public Safety Advisory Committee, NACo gives local county leaders a voice in ensuring the FirstNet network addresses their emergency communication needs.
Every year during the holidays, the city of St. Augustine in Florida is transformed by millions of holiday lights that bedazzle the city’s downtown in an event called Nights of Lights. As visitors marvel at the twinkling lights, St. Augustine officials use FirstNet to ensure the event runs smoothly and safely for everyone involved.
The FirstNet Authority’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) and Tribal Working Group (TWG) held their annual fall meetings. The TWG met in Boulder, Colorado to tour the FirstNet Lab, share their experiences with FirstNet equipment on tribal land, and offer insights on how to improve tribal public safety communications. PSAC members gathered in Tysons, Virginia to discuss FirstNet Authority accomplishments in 2022, FirstNet buildout progress, and upcoming plans and activities to support the network’s continued growth and expansion in 2023 and beyond.