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Thunderbird and Whale: First-ever national exercise led by tribal nations tests communications capabilities

Thunderbird and Whale was the first-ever national-level exercise fully planned and executed by tribal nations. Lynda Zambrano, Executive Director of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council, recounts her team’s approach to the exercise and how they maximized resources to benefit tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Meet the Expert: EMS Advisor Jon Olson sees FirstNet as key to innovative solutions in emergency care

Before joining the FirstNet Authority as the EMS subject matter expert, Jon Olson spent 31 years working in EMS in Raleigh, North Carolina. We recently sat down with Jon to discuss his perspective on how the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network has evolved from concept to solution and how FirstNet will help advance EMS operations into the future.

 

Scoring a win with FirstNet Authority pre-planning support

First responders at any size event depend on reliable communication to ensure a successful and safe outcome. In preparation for the Super Bowl in 2022, Los Angeles area public safety agencies’ used the FirstNet Authority’s pre-planning event support to help maximize broadband capabilities. This free and unique service from the FirstNet Authority resulted in more timely and efficient decision-making, better coordinated responses, and well-managed resources and logistics.

Driving Innovation for Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery

Long before the rain starts falling or the wind starts blowing, first responders are focused on planning for hurricanes. Innovative features and functions on FirstNet and programs available through the FirstNet Authority help public safety agencies as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from these disasters.

FirstNet Authority Supports SMART emergency management practices through planning, preparedness programs

Emergency management agencies are turning to the FirstNet Authority’s planning tools and support mechanisms — including an exercise inject catalog, event pre-planning program, and post incident/event review process — to help emergency managers and other public safety officials integrate broadband into their daily operations and emergency response. Through collaborative efforts with our team, responders across the nation are leveraging these offerings as part of their SMART approach to emergency management.

Three types of FirstNet Authority support for preparedness

The FirstNet Authority provides three types of support to help public safety agencies as they prepare for all hazards: pre-planning support, an exercise inject catalog, and post-incident reviews. These three types of support help agencies understand how to best use FirstNet during disasters or large events, leading to more timely and efficient decision-making, better coordinated response, and well-managed resources and logistics.

After-Action Reviews Improve Broadband Experience for Responders Nationwide

As broadband becomes more prevalent in public safety communications, the FirstNet Authority offers the After Action Review (AAR) program — a free service available to any FirstNet subscribing agency to capture best practices and lessons learned related to event planning, logistics, operations, and technology use. The AAR program has made a positive impact on communications usage at events such as the New York International Air Show.

FirstNet Inject Catalog advances planning and preparation for public safety

The FirstNet Inject Catalog is a comprehensive searchable tool designed to help emergency planners integrate broadband capabilities into discussion-based (tabletop) and operational (functional and full-scale) exercises. Organizers of the 2019 Central State Communications Exercise, held in Quapaw, Oklahoma, used the Inject Catalog to demonstrate how broadband technologies could enhance operational communications throughout the central states’ region.