Courtesy TRDaily: McEwen Positive on FirstNet’s Use of PSAC After Slow Start

NEW ORLEANS – Harlin McEwen, chairman of the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), said  he is pleased with the input that FirstNet is now seeking from his panel, stressing that this has not always been the case.

“A year ago at this conference, I was pretty frustrated,” Mr. McEwen said during a session this morning at the APCO 2014 show, adding that the PSAC was “just being maintained” at that point. “Today, I’m really very encouraged.”

He noted that at a public safety conference in June in Colorado, six FirstNet board members attended the PSAC’s face-to-face meeting, and the board also approved a charter for the PSAC.

Mr. McEwen also noted that the five-member FirstNet executive committee for the first time has been invited to attend a FirstNet board meeting – the Sept. 17 meeting in Reston, Va. “That’s a significant step in the right direction to get public safety involved,” he said.

He also said the executive committee would meet with board Chairman Sue Swenson and board member Jeff Johnson on future PSAC activities.

Mr. McEwen also pointed out that the PSAC has established working groups on early builder networks and tribes. He said that a chairman of the tribal group has been named and the chairs and members of the early builder group would be announced soon.

At the same session today, David Buchanan, chairman of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council’s Spectrum Management Committee, said that the public safety community wants site hardening and applications recommendations contained in a public safety grade report that NPSTC recently produced to be standardized by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute).  The public safety grade report has 459 requirements, but Mr. Buchanan stressed that public safety professionals should not expect all to be adopted. The report recommends that some “should” be adopted while others “shall,” he noted.

NPSTC’s Broadband Working Group, which Mr. Buchanan also chairs, released the report in May (TRDaily, May 23).- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com