A person looks up at commercial building with the roof and storefront caved in from a tornado in Otsego County

FirstNet keeps Michigan responders communicating in the path of a tornado

Deputy Chief Gavin Babieracki of Otsego County EMS Rescue shares his experience responding when a tornado struck his community, a rare event in northern Michigan. Though the tornado was unexpected, Babieracki and his team were prepared with FirstNet and other technologies to keep first responders connected throughout the disaster.


Sylvia Moir headshot, a group of four police officers checking cars at a routine traffic stop in a busy city street

FirstNet Authority Board member advocates for mindfulness in public safety

Chief Sylvia Moir is a police executive with more than three decades of local police practice and over a decade of experience as a chief of police. She was appointed to the FirstNet Authority Board by the Secretary of Commerce in October 2021. Chief Moir shared her perspectives on FirstNet, her service on the board, and the role of mindfulness in policing. 


An aerial view of an industrial building ravaged by a fire and the drone footage of the wreckage showing a heat map; "Durham Fire Department"

Drones keep firefighters safe during fertilizer plant blaze

Fire departments around the country are investing in drone technology to keep firefighters safe. Division Chief Dan Cremeans of the Durham Fire Department in North Carolina explained how their drone program helped keep firefighters safe as they battled a fire at a fertilizer plant containing hundreds of tons of highly flammable chemicals.


First responder somberly looking away; silhouette of New York City skyline with World Trade Center tower remembrance silhouettes

Strengthening Our Nation’s Preparedness with a Public Safety Broadband Network

During September, we remember the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks and recognize National Preparedness Month. These events serve as poignant reminders that emergencies can happen at any time, and it is critical for first responders to be prepared. The FirstNet Authority is working to strengthen emergency preparedness through ensuring the men and women of public safety can communicate when and where disaster strikes.




An Arlington 911 operator remotely taking calls in her home; a Palm Beach 911 remote go-bag with a phone and laptop; A group of Fulton County 911 operators remotely taking 911 calls

Remote Work Opens New Possibilities for 9-1-1: The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how dispatchers work from home

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. 9-1-1 leaders looked to technology for a solution. Through FirstNet, the nationwide public-safety broadband network, first responders had access to a secure, reliable connection outside of the ECC. 


A worker inspects a fire unit

FirstNet and the five E’s of community risk reduction

FirstNet is an important tool for firefighters as they battle a fire. Outside the blazes, the network can also enhance the fire service’s community risk reduction efforts. The FirstNet Authority engages with the fire community on how FirstNet can support the “five E’s” of risk reduction: enforcement, engineering, education, emergency response, and economic incentives.


911 operator wearing a headset at a workstation with multiple screens

The future of 911 in Indiana: Tactical dispatch, remote operations, and backup

During an emergency, 9-1-1 is the public’s first point of contact—which presents unique challenges for telecommunicators. Andrea Baughn, Indiana’s deputy statewide interoperability coordinator and 9-1-1 liaison, shared how her state is supporting emergency communication centers and how FirstNet can support the unique challenges of 9-1-1.



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