Recently, the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet Authority) Public Safety Advocacy team visited the Aloha State to meet with the City and County of Honolulu on its Roadmap Engagement tour. I was pleased to participate in this engagement along with my colleagues Harry Markley and Kenison Tejada. During the trip, we held several meetings, which gave us an opportunity to solicit feedback from the island’s public safety community about their localized emergency communications needs, and to discuss the specific and ongoing successes and challenges facing public safety responders in Hawaii.
We joined the Honolulu police, fire services, 9-1-1 dispatch, and EMS responders on several “ride-alongs” to observe FirstNet technologies and broadband capabilities in action. These firsthand experiences proved invaluable as we were able to share our observations and insights during a subsequent meeting with representatives from multiple city and county public safety agencies, including Hawaii’s Statewide Interoperability Coordinator.
After spending this focused field time with responders, the meeting continued with an opportunity to review and map out their agency communications pathways. We conducted a guided discussion on the FirstNet Authority Roadmap, focused on its impacts to technologies available now, and its guidance furthering public safety technologies and capabilities in the future.
The FirstNet Authority would like to thank the City and County of Honolulu and its public safety agencies for hosting the team. We look forward to continued discussions as FirstNet develops and evolves based on input from public safety all over the nation.