PSAC Association Profile: American Public Works Association (APWA)

June 22, 2017
The American Public Works Association (APWA) has 29,000 active members, and is a leading organization representing municipal and county public agencies responsible for over 70% of the U.S. road systems and much of the nation’s other public infrastructure.
The American Public Works Association (APWA) has 29,000 active members, and is a leading organization representing municipal and county public agencies responsible for over 70% of the U.S. road systems and much of the nation’s other public infrastructure.

This is the latest in a series of blogs highlighting FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).  The PSAC consists of members representing associations and agencies from all disciplines of public safety, as well as state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and provides guidance and recommendations to FirstNet in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. Its input is invaluable to the development of the FirstNet network.

Traditional first responders, such as law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel, rush to the scene of an incident and their mission to save lives is clear. But what about the other responders involved in an emergency who quickly clear and repair the roads or help restore electricity and water after an emergency event? The FirstNet network will have an impact beyond that of traditional first responders, as the varied disciplines, backgrounds, and missions of FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) association membership demonstrates.

The “whole community” approach to emergency management addresses the vital role public works agencies play in response.  The American Public Works Association (APWA) has 29,000 active members, and is a leading organization representing municipal and county public agencies responsible for over 70% of the U.S. road systems and much of the nation’s other public infrastructure.  APWA has been a member of the PSAC since its inception and is a crucial supporter of FirstNet. In an advocacy position statement for FirstNet issued last year, APWA stated:

“When disaster strikes, local public works agencies are called upon to serve at the forefront during emergencies. Accordingly, public works agencies depend on a reliable interoperable emergency communications system that connects them to other responders, including law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical professionals, and other public works agencies during response and recovery operations. Public works has a vital role in all natural, technical and manmade disasters, including clearing and repairing roadways, controlling flooding, removing debris, restoring utility services, and assisting with the operation of incident command centers and evacuation centers.”

Phil Mann, Interim Public Works Director, City of Gainesville (FL) - Public Works Department, represents APWA on the FirstNet PSAC and is Chair of APWA’s Emergency Management Committee. APWA is committed to helping to develop the FirstNet network and is “dedicated to representing our association in ways never envisioned only a few years ago,” Mann said.

APWA hosts educational events, offers accreditation programs, advocates the important work of its members, and represents public works agencies in front of local, state, and federal government entities. APWA recently supported the reestablishment of the bipartisan House Public Works and Infrastructure Caucus for the 115th Congress. The caucus hosted an event on Capitol Hill in March to discuss the important role public works professionals play in protecting our nation's critical infrastructure.

APWA also sponsored the annual National Public Works Week, which highlighted the value of public works projects and the importance of infrastructure to every citizen’s daily quality of life. Governors and mayors from across the country issued proclamations supporting National Public Works Week to honor the crucial contributions of public works agencies. APWA also runs the annual Public Works Expo (PWX) conference, which will be held in held in Orlando from August 27-30, 2017.

Through events like these, APWA continues to play a vital role in ensuring that the needs of public works agencies and personnel are heard in the development of the FirstNet network.

 

 

 

 

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