Urgent Communications: View from the Top–First responders need access to life-saving, 3D location technology By Charles Werner and Eddie Reyes

The FirstNet RFP has been issued, responses are back and evaluations are currently in progress. For all practical purposes, the nation will finally get a broadband network dedicated to Public Safety needs. The question is: What we will get in the public-safety broadband network that is useful to us?

To get an idea, we looked at the 16 objectives that FirstNet has laid out for the network. A key one we quickly gravitated to is the need to provide precise first-responder location accountability indoors and outdoors. Second to mission-critical voice, there is not another application that is more critical, answering two important questions: Where are my people in an incident, and where is the “incident”? Getting accurate and precise information will allow optimal dispatch of our men and women correctly, meaning a faster response; use of strategies that keep them from harm’s way while also using resources more efficiently—an important consideration, given ever-shrinking budgets.

So, what is required for any location system to satisfy a “mission critical” need?

  • The location system needs to be highly accurate XY information, both indoors and outdoors;
  • Indoors, it should provide near-floor-level vertical information (particularly for high-rise buildings in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles), also known as the Z-axis;
  • It needs to work reliably and consistently, even during storms and adverse conditions;
  • It needs to work pervasively throughout a city, because emergencies can happen anywhere;
  • It needs to support the public-safety application, such as 3D geolocation, navigation and Blue Force Tracking; and
  • It needs to transition seamlessly between cellular, Wi-Fi and satellite communications, always operating on the technology with best signal strength at a given moment.

In fact, Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) has done extensive work in this area and identified candidate location technologies (Location-Based Services R&D Roadmap, May 2015).

Read complete article here:http://urgentcomm.com/blog/first-responders-need-access-life-saving-3d-location-technology