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.
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.
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.
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.
The FirstNet Authority has made it a priority to bring broadband to all first responders — local, state, federal, and tribal. The FirstNet Authority is helping tribal nations integrate broadband into public safety operations by developing guidance and collaborating on best practices with tribal organizations like the Indian Gaming Association.
Thunderbird and Whale: First-ever national exercise led by tribal nations tests communications capabilities
Thunderbird and Whale was the first-ever national-level exercise fully planned and executed by tribal nations. Lynda Zambrano, Executive Director of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council, recounts her team’s approach to the exercise and how they maximized resources to benefit tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest.
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.
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.
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.
Meet the Expert: EMS Advisor Jon Olson sees FirstNet as key to innovative solutions in emergency care
Before joining the FirstNet Authority as the EMS subject matter expert, Jon Olson spent 31 years working in EMS in Raleigh, North Carolina. We recently sat down with Jon to discuss his perspective on how the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network has evolved from concept to solution and how FirstNet will help advance EMS operations into the future.