AT&T’s Satellite Cellsite on Light Truck (right) deployed next to the state’s Site on Wheels trailer (left) at the 2019 American Birkebeiner. Submitted photo

Communications Boosted at Birkebeiner Race with FirstNet Deployable

Every February, 30,000 skiers and spectators descend on northwestern Wisconsin to take part in the largest cross-country race in North America, the American Birkebeiner. The more than 30-mile race from Cable to Hayward, known as the “Birkie,” tests the endurance of skiers. It also creates a huge emergency communications challenge for first responders.

Dave Buchanan interviews Dave Mulholland.

FirstNet’s a Game Changer for the Nation’s Capital

When it comes to emergency communications in the National Capital Region, Dave Mulholland has seen it all. Public Safety Advocacy Director Dave Buchanan recently sat down with him to discuss his experiences with public safety communications in the National Capital Region for the Public Safety First podcast.

“A FirstNet deployable boosted communications for Citizen Potawatomi Nation first responders at the annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival.”

Citizen Potawatomi Nation: “When nothing else works, it will.”

In August 2018, the Citizen Potawatomi Tribe hosted its annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival, a two-day event that attracts crowds as large as 34,000 people to Shawnee, Oklahoma, every year. As with any gathering in a place not accustomed to large crowds, commercial networks can become overloaded and congested, delaying or sometimes impeding communications among public safety officials working the event. 

A woman stands behind a podium on a stage giving a presentation.

Michigan Feedback Informs FirstNet Experience, Roadmap

The First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet Authority) Public Safety Advocacy team traveled recently to Traverse City, MI, to participate in and present to more than 230 attendees at the 2019 Michigan Statewide Interoperable Communications Training Conference.

Aerial view of the building that houses the FirstNet AuthorityLab and future Experience Center in Boulder, CO.

The FirstNet Lab and Future Experience Center

The First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet Authority) Technology Headquarters in Boulder, CO - home to the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab and a future experience center - continues to be a focal point for transforming the future of public safety communications for first responders.

Headshot of John Hunt. He sits in front of an American flag.

911 SME: John Hunt's 34 years of service

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.

An male officer with the Richmond (Va.) Police Department monitors information n a computer screen.

Priority Makes the Difference – FirstNet in Action

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.

Four fighter jets streak across the sky on a summer day. In the foreground is a big crowd and a large aircrat.

FirstNet Earns its Wings at Terre Haute Airshow

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. While pilots spend months preparing to perform daring tricks in the air, public safety and state and local officials spend months preparing for the event on the ground. With several local, state, and federal first responders supporting the event, organizers for the 2018 event were looking for ways to enhance public safety communications.

A VW bug sits inside the ruins of a burned down house and garage.

California Camp Fire is Reminder of Responders’ Sacrifice

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.