FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee members discuss matters during a meeting, Twenty-three representatives of all disciplines of public safety stand for a PSAC group photo

PSAC meeting highlights 2019 accomplishments and 2020 initiatives

The FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its bi-annual meeting in Austin, TX, where more than 20 PSAC members gathered to discuss 2019 activities and accomplishments and 2020 goals and initiatives. Kenzie Capece, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, recaps the conversation on the FirstNet Authority Roadmap and special presentations from FirstNet, Built with AT&T, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Four Tech to Protect participants code in collaboration at a table filled with laptops, a Haptics Challenge judge tests virtual reality simulations, a FirstNet Authority speaker at TEEX UnderFire gestures in front of an audience

The FirstNet Ecosystem: Spurring Innovation

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.

FirstNet Authority staff at FirstNet booth at International Association of Emergency Managers annual conference.

FirstNet Authority engages with emergency managers at IAEM

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.

A University of Mississippi Medical Center helicopter on the roof of a medical facility and an ambulance driving on a city street.

Expanded Telehealth Uses and Capabilities on the FirstNet Network

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.

“September 2019 3GPP Plenary Meetings” over an image of 3GPP meeting attendees listening and taking notes on laptops as a panel of four speakers at the front give a presentation.

Direct Mode Enhancements Move Forward in Latest 3GPP Standards

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.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency logo on a truck.

FirstNet Helps Save Lives during Gas Outage in Rhode Island

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.

Six icons representing the Roadmap domains connected by a line over an image of two FirstNet Authority staff speaking to an audience of law enforcement and fire services representatives.

A New Approach to Public Safety Engagement Focused on Roadmap Priorities

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.