Last week, FirstNet attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. There was robust discussion around the need for close collaboration between mayors and police chiefs.
Also last week, FirstNet staff presented to the Public Safety Committee of the California League of Cities. Discussions focused on rural coverage, technology, and deployment.
FirstNet also attended the Fire Rescue East conference in Daytona Beach, Florida last week, staffing a booth and meeting with EMS associations. Although most attendees indicated little prior knowledge of FirstNet, they were very interested in and pleased with the idea of the FirstNet Network.
Last week, FirstNet staff attended a listening session between tribal leaders and association executives from across the country and members of the Trump transition team, hosted by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), in Arlington, Virginia. Infrastructure and broadband deployment were among Indian Country’s top priorities. The staff director of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs also presented at the session.
FirstNet staff also presented to the members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs’ Public Safety Subgroup, hosted by the Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ). A follow-up briefing on public safety data sharing via OTJ’s Tribal Access Program (TAP) and FirstNet was requested and is being scheduled.
FirstNet provided an overview and update at a Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association meeting last week. FirstNet staff discussed how FirstNet services would complement other tools and resources already used by tribal public safety in Southern California, as well as the State Plan process. PSAC Tribal Working Group (TWG) delegate Bob Clark discussed the importance of sharing information about each tribe’s public safety capabilities with FirstNet. Questions during the meeting focused on costs, rural coverage, the Governor’s decision, and the use of existing infrastructure.
On Wednesday, FirstNet staff met with officials from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Massachusetts SPOC team, providing updates on FirstNet’s progress and tribal work. One specific point of interest was in-building coverage, particularly in casinos, where walls are built to block signals. On Thursday, FirstNet met with officials from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to learn about their communications needs. Discussion focused on the use of existing infrastructure, protection of tribal data, network maintenance, costs, the FirstNet timeline, and the role tribes will play in the draft State Plan review process.
This week, FirstNet will be participating in the National Association of EMS Physicians 2017 Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana; a meeting of the Northern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association in Trinidad Rancheria; a National Public Safety Telecommunications Council teleconference; a FEMA Region X Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group meeting in Salem, Oregon; the Wisconsin Working Together Conference in Milwaukee; a Southwest Border Communications Working Group meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico; a FEMA Region I RECCWG meeting in Maynard, Massachusetts; and a meeting of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Council of the State of Maryland.
Each January, February, and March, professional and trade associations congregate in Washington, DC to meet with the Administration and Congress. They typically hold conferences and conduct individual meetings during their time in DC. Over the next two months, FirstNet representatives will be attending and presenting at the National Sheriff’s Association, the National Governor’s Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the National Association of Counties, which will include state executives from many states and territories. FirstNet will continue to share any information that will be beneficial to our work together this year.
Last week, FirstNet posted two new blog posts: Linking Rural Public Safety over an Interoperable Broadband Network and PSAC Profile: U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). All blog posts are available on the FirstNet blog at: www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.
News from the PSAC, States and Territories
The PSAC’s Executive Committee (EC) is holding its monthly teleconference on Monday, January 23 from 4:00pm-5:00pm ET.
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NASCIO 1/18: NASCIO Releases Federal Advocacy Priorities: Highlights Need for Strong Intergovernmental Partnership
FirstNet appears again as an advocacy priority in 2017 because this year, governors will be making the decision to opt-in or opt-out of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. Many state CIOs serve as FirstNet’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the state and all state CIOs serve as a trusted technology and business advisor to their governors. Thus, it is important that FirstNet communicate regularly with states as final state plans are delivered and acted upon.
Web and Social Media
FirstNet’s social media presence grew at the normal rate this week. Twitter gained 28 new followers, now at 4,883. Facebook has 646 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,825 followers. YouTube has 375 subscribers.
Do you have something you want to feature in the weekly update, such as a conference date, personnel announcement, or news article showcasing the work of your organization? Please send it to PSAC@firstnet.gov for possible inclusion in an upcoming update.