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Bordered by four of the Great Lakes, Michigan’s diverse geography includes islands, mountains, and the largest state park and state forest system of any state. Michigan also boasts a large population in its southern regions where there is a high concentration of manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture industries. The north, in contrast, is home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is far more rural. Due to this range in population and terrain, Michigan's response teams need to be ready for a variety of environments.

The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Michigan first responders face. We have been working closely with Michigan public safety officials since 2014, capturing their feedback and translating it into the design of the FirstNet network. During the development of state deployment plans, our team worked hand-in-hand with Michigan leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:

  • Expanding coverage in rural and tribal areas and along Michigan’s waterways and shorelines
  • Helping address communications challenges along the state’s border with Canada, including key ports and border crossings

Following this close collaboration, Michigan chose to adopt the plan and “opt in” to FirstNet. Today, we continue to meet regularly with state and local officials to discuss their public safety broadband needs. In 2019 alone, our team met with Michigan public safety officials 25 times. Our engagements in Michigan included attending the Michigan Interoperability Board Meeting, meeting with Gulfport Harrison County, and meeting with the Michigan Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. Engagements like these are crucial to the ongoing success of the network and the advancement of public safety communications across the state and the nation.

Connect with our team of Public Safety Advisors to learn about FirstNet in your community.

Michigan's FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisor

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Before, we had to queue up. We had to wait. Sometimes, we didn't even get on the network because there was too much traffic. Now, with our FirstNet network, we’re getting it. We're on board.
Captain Mel Maier
Commander of the Emergency Communications & Operations Division, Oakland County Sheriff's Office

FirstNet in Action in Michigan

  • When an eight-year-old boy went missing in Michigan's sprawling Porcupine Mountains, an extensive search and rescue operation was initiated. Darian Reed, President of Superior Search and Rescue, shared that broadband and data service support from FirstNet was pivotal in successfully and safely recovering the child.
  • FirstNet’s Cell Booster Pro is a valuable tool for EMS to bridge the gap between FirstNet service in the field and when responders return to the station. This in-building solution boosts FirstNet coverage indoors where EMS officials work. Two EMS agencies that use the device share their experiences and advice for other agencies.
  • Deputy Chief Gavin Babieracki of Otsego County EMS Rescue shares his experience responding when a tornado struck his community, a rare event in northern Michigan. Though the tornado was unexpected, Babieracki and his team were prepared with FirstNet and other technologies to keep first responders connected throughout the disaster.
  • Throughout the pandemic, FirstNet has been delivering our nation’s frontline public safety personnel a secure, dedicated wireless broadband service to keep mass vaccination centers connected and coordinated. When the New Hampshire’s Security and Emergency Management set up a mass vaccination clinic in Loudon last spring, the agency implemented FirstNet service for its communication needs. The FirstNet network was equally critical to healthcare providers and emergency managers setting up sites to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in Michigan and Maryland.