As technology rapidly evolves, more and more tools are becoming available to first responders. Over the past year, the FirstNet Authority has supported several innovation contests that encourage entrepreneurs, researchers, and public safety professionals to develop solutions to assist emergency responders. Brian Hobson, Director of the FirstNet Authority Enterprise Strategy Division, breaks down some of these contests and how the FirstNet Authority is helping drive innovation forward.
The FirstNet Authority attended the 2019 International Association of Emergency Managers 67th Annual Conference, meeting with emergency managers from across the nation and gathering their feedback on their critical communications needs.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research Division announced the winners of its Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge, a contest aimed to leverage haptic technologies to enhance first responder operations.
Every summer, tens of thousands of boating enthusiasts descend on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for one of the most popular powerboat racing events in the nation. For the 2019 Lake Race, local public safety agencies relied on FirstNet to support their communication and data needs.
The FirstNet Authority’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) formed a Strike Team to examine the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport program. Chief Jonathan Olson of Wake County, NC EMS and FirstNet Authority PSAC Executive Committee member, details how the FirstNet network is uniquely situated to support this program and how under this program, patients will receive increased access to the services they need.
Driving innovation for disaster response to support America’s first responders and build resilient communities
When disaster strikes, public safety and local officials need the best tools to save lives, and a critical response infrastructure is necessary to help economies recover and remain resilient after these events. In recognition of this, three agencies within the Department of Commerce have come together to launch the Accelerate R2 Network Challenge to foster innovations in response and resiliency technologies.
The FirstNet Authority recently participated in the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meetings in Newport Beach, California. Dean Prochaska, FirstNet Authority Director of Standards, recaps the standards body meeting and what it means for public safety.
In January 2019, a gas outage in Newport County, Rhode Island left over 7,100 residents without heat in frigid temperatures. Ruggedized FirstNet devices, WiFi hotspots, and GIS mapping software helped the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and local public safety agencies ensure residents were safe.
The FirstNet Authority has always relied on input and feedback from public safety, and with the release of the Roadmap, the FirstNet Authority is continuing this engagement with stakeholders in a new, targeted manner. David Buchanan, FirstNet Authority Executive Director of Public Safety, describes this new approach and how it will help inform the evolution and improvement of the network.
As mobile broadband communications become increasingly embedded in public safety operations, states are updating policy and process documents to account for this new way of communicating. The Missouri Department of Public Safety updated the Missouri Field Operations Guide, a statewide reference tool that outlines established and trusted interoperable communications solutions for first responders, to include FirstNet.