A firefighter monitors Sugar Pine/Miles Fire in Oregon at night. Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region, July 30, 2018.

Serving those on the frontlines of the West Coast wildfires

When the ongoing Miles Fire forced the residents and community of Prospect, OR, to evacuate, the Fire Incident Management Team called in FirstNet for support. A Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) is deployed at base camp where nearly 2,000 first responders gather to coordinate their response efforts as the wildfire has grown over the past month.

Today, public safety agencies are already experiencing the benefits of PTT apps on FirstNet as a collaboration tool.

Early Benefits of FirstNet: Collaboration and Push-to-Talk Apps

The sharing of data via FirstNet is enabling first responders to have more information available at their fingertips to help with their lifesaving mission. Today, through over-the-top push-to-talk (PTT) apps, first responders can use FirstNet’s always-on, reliable connection to collaborate — including sharing pictures, videos, texts, and other data in real time. With enhanced communications, public safety can be better prepared to keep themselves and the communities they serve safe.

Four images from the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM: Two officers consult each other looking at their devices, hot air balloons rise over the city, a large crowd moves through the balloon fiesta fields, four police officers talk as one points with hot air balloons filling with air on the ground behind them

Early Benefits of FirstNet: Priority and Preemption

Priority and preemption are a few of the crucial features FirstNet provides to first responders, especially during large planned events with thousands of participants, such as the annual International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque. In years past, first responders at the festival reported poor connectivity on commercial networks due to attendees’ high volume of voice calls, texts, and social media posts. But using FirstNet, public safety’s dedicated network, for this year’s festival, they had a dramatically different—and better—experience.

A full room of people listen to a FirstNet panel at an APCO conference

Check out the First Responder Network Authority at APCO 2018

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) looks forward to participating in APCO 2018, APCO International’s 84th Annual Conference and Expo, which will be held August 5-8. Join us at this year’s event in Las Vegas to hear the latest developments in our efforts to drive innovation, advocate for public safety, and oversee the deployment of public safety’s own network.

A FirstNet enabled phone held by an officer displaying an app

FirstNet Enabled Location Services: Enhancing Situational Awareness and Improving Public Safety Outcomes

Whether securing large events or responding to local emergencies, it can be a challenge for public safety to keep track of where first responders are positioned. Historically, tracking first responders in the field meant repeated radio roll-calls where units identify with their call sign and location and incident scribes map the scene on a white board – a labor-intensive process that didn’t provide the up-to-the-minute situational awareness incident commanders need for optimal decision-making.

A graphic representation of signals spreading out across a major city with skyscrapers and many buildings

Connecting Communities through Strong Mobile Networks Improves Services and Safety

The First Responder Network Authority recently participated in the Smart Cities workshop in Las Vegas, hosted by US Ignite on May 30. Local governments and industry came together to discuss public safety solutions in light of smart city deployments. Leaders from Albuquerque (NM), Boise (ID), Lafayette (KY), Las Vegas and Henderson (NV), and Portland (OR) attended and shared examples of how they are deploying smart city solutions in their communities.

Hundreds of people sit in a room during a presentation at the 3GPP plenary meetings June 11-15, 2018 in La Jolla, CA

Tech Talk: La Jolla, CA, 3GPP Plenary Meetings Recap

In the FirstNet Authority’s ongoing effort to keep you informed regarding standards development activities impacting public safety, and following our recent update on the March Plenary meetings in Chennai, India, this blog discusses the latest developments from the 3GPP Plenary meetings held in La Jolla, CA, from June 11-15, 2018. The June quarterly meetings addressed standards in several areas relevant to the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) in three separate plenary group meetings.

Two officers in Rhode Island State Police jackets look at the crowd at the 2018 Volvo Ocean Racenear the water

Smooth Sailing for FirstNet at Volvo Ocean Race

When the town of Newport, Rhode Island hosted the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race, it was the only North American stopover out of 12 cities on six continents during this around-the-world sailing event. For 13 days in May, over 100,000 tourists and sailing enthusiasts descended onto Newport’s Race Village in Fort Adams State Park to witness one of the world’s toughest sailings competitions.