Public Safety Agencies Across the Country are Adopting Their Network, Seeing Immediate Benefits From Key Capabilities and Highly Reliable FirstNet Connections
First responders championed the creation of FirstNet. And now that it's here, they continue to show their support. More than 1,000 public safety agencies across 52 states and territories have joined FirstNet, nearly doubling the network's adoption since April.
FirstNet is the nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to America's first responders. Being built with AT&T*, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade to help them connect to the critical information they need. Every day. And in every emergency.
FirstNet is designed to support the entire public safety community. Current users include:
- 11 state patrol agencies
- Tribal public safety agencies
- Volunteer firefighters and responders
- Federal agencies
- School districts. They can use the service to communicate and coordinate with public safety during times of crisis.
"First responders across the country are saying 'yes' to THEIR network," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T-FirstNet. "We believe FirstNet is a nationwide asset to public safety – one that is helping first responders more easily, safely and effectively carry out their lifesaving mission. And we couldn't be more honored to be charged with delivering it."
The nearly 100,000 FirstNet connections are helping transform emergency communications. Since May, first responders have used FirstNet to respond to:
- Active shooter situations
- Flooding events
- Large events like the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race
- Search and recovery missions in remote locations
While each situation presents a unique set of circumstances, the public safety mission remains the same. And FirstNet has been there to reliably support first responders' resolution of each.
"We recently experienced significant flooding. Water rescues, road closures and more needed to be quickly coordinated to keep our responders and our residents safe," said Washington County (MD) Sheriff Doug Mullendore, whose agency was one of the first in the nation to join FirstNet. "When disaster hit, we relied on FirstNet to keep us connected. We even called in a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT), boosting our ability to communicate and coordinate our emergency response beyond the low bandwidth Wi-Fi some of our personnel were using."
First responders on FirstNet also get access to key capabilities like:
- Improved location services that allow incident commanders to track, in near real time, the location of police, fire and EMS personnel on the ground at large events.
- Data sharing to enhance public safety's situational awareness. Used at large events, it's sped up first responders' ability to reunite lost children with their families.
- Always-on priority and preemption across voice and data to stay connected despite network congestion.
- Access to near real-time information to help emergency managers and first responders coordinate their action plans and make critical decisions.
- Increased security through FirstNet's physically separate, dedicated core. Built to public safety's objectives and standards, FirstNet isn't a virtual core.
"We are pleased to see first responders taking advantage of the early benefits of their network," said FirstNet Authority CEO Mike Poth. "Public safety's input is essential to ensuring the deployment and future evolution of FirstNet meets their rigorous demands. Our team looks forward to continuing to work closely with public safety, advocating for their innovation needs now and in the future."