John Hunt started with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) three years ago, but his support of public safety has been 34 years in the making.
FirstNet is a new nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. Designed with the advice of public safety professionals, FirstNet aims to give first responders 21st-century communications tools to help save lives, solve crimes, and keep communities and emergency responders safe.
Every summer, thousands of people travel to western Indiana for the Terre Haute airshow—a two-day event that features the Navy’s famous Blue Angels and other aircraft. At the 2018 event, planning officials decided to deploy FirstNet to provide a robust interoperable broadband connection for all involved.
Edward Parkinson describes how he joined the Western Fire Chiefs Association and public safety officials for a site visit to the burn area of the Camp Fire in northern California. This trip was an opportunity for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) to learn about the public safety response to the fires that devastated Paradise, California—a town of 27,000 residents in the foothills East of Chico—directly from those fire chiefs and other first responders who were on the ground during the wildfire.
The December 2018 quarterly Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meetings in Sorrento, Italy, addressed standards in several areas relevant to mission-critical broadband in three separate plenary group meetings.
The age of FirstNet stands to deliver situational awareness and data for Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs), whether for emergency managers in rural or metro areas in the US. When police needed to search a 300-acre wooded property in rural Alabama, they used a mix of traditional police work and cutting-edge technology to try to find evidence that could provide a long-sought break in a missing persons case.
In 2018, the Life is Beautiful Music and Art Festival attracted 180,000 visitors from around the globe to an 18-block radius in Las Vegas, Nevada. To assist, 30 FirstNet Ready™ mobile devices were distributed to the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue team, including firefighters, EMS, and bomb squad personnel.
The First Responder Network Authority team is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Board member Ed Reynolds on New Year’s Day. Ed was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame just a few months ago after an accomplished career in wireless technology spanning several decades.
First responders know all too well that emergencies and natural disasters can strike at any time. In 2018, communities across the nation were hit particularly hard – from Hurricanes Florence and Michael on the East Coast, to massive and destructive wildfires on the West Coast.