- Last week, FirstNet attended the National Association of EMS Physicians 2017 Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, holding numerous conversations with EMS physicians who lead EMS services in local communities and often drive the use of new medical technologies. Enthusiasm was high as attendees learned how FirstNet will benefit patients and the medical community in the near future. FirstNet also had the opportunity to review new software systems and apps that aggregate field EMS information and present it in usable ways at hospitals.
- FirstNet also attended the NTIA Spectrum Managers Course in Washington, DC last week. This meeting of spectrum managers, engineers, and policy staff from federal departments and agencies gives an overview of spectrum management across the government. FirstNet staff provided an overview and an update on current activities, including consultation with federal public safety entities.
- Also last week, FirstNet staff attended a meeting of the Southwest Border Communications Working Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, providing a summary of consultation and data collection efforts, and the State Plans preparation and review process. Questions and discussion focused on rural coverage, network security, and cross-border communications with Mexican authorities.
- Last Monday, FirstNet attended the Northern California Tribal Chairman’s Association meeting in Trinidad Rancheria with the California SPOC. Staff provided an overview of the State Plan process and the Governor’s decision. Tribal leaders raised several questions, including costs, considerations for collocation on existing infrastructure, and how tribal representation can be best involved.
- FirstNet also met with the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Humboldt County, California to discuss the history of FirstNet, State Plans delivery, the Governor’s decision, and tribal consultation via the PSAC Tribal Working Group and the CalFRN Tribal Advisory Committee. Discussion focused on working with rural providers, potential investments to prepare for FirstNet services, and costs.
- Last week, FirstNet also presented before the FirstNet Subcommittee of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in Los Angeles, providing an overview of FirstNet and answering questions about the FirstNet timeline and how the SCAG may get involved. Other topics of discussion included costs, rural coverage, and potential impacts of FirstNet deployment.
- On Friday, FirstNet staff presented to the Arizona Police Chiefs’ Association in Mesa. Attendees included almost 150 chiefs of police and the Arizona Governor and his staff. There was a high level of understanding about FirstNet’s current status and activities.
- This week, FirstNet will be participating in a meeting of the Oregon Area 9 Fire Defense Board in Hermiston; an International Association of Emergency Managers webinar; a Massachusetts FirstNet Advisory Board meeting in Framingham; the Texas Association of Regional Councils Bi-Annual Staff Training & Board of Directors Meeting in Austin; a meeting with Harford County public safety communications leaders in Forest Hill, Maryland; a New Hampshire Statewide Interoperable Executive Committee meeting in Concord; the National Sheriffs Association Winter Legislative Conference in Washington, DC; and the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association Leadership Summit in Juneau.
- Last week, FirstNet posted two new blog posts: FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab Blog Series: Testing Coverage Reliability and Technology Talk: FirstNet – Delivering 21st Century Tools to Law Enforcement (reprinted from Police Chief Magazine). All blog posts are available on the FirstNet blog at: www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.
- Tracy McElvaney joined FirstNet last week as the Lead Architect in Technology Planning & Development. Prior to FirstNet, Tracy spent 3 years with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR), where he served as Group Leader of the Advanced Communications Research Group. Prior to federal service, Tracy worked in multiple roles ranging from System Testing, Network Deployment, Outage Recovery, and System Engineering. He has supported new network and technology rollouts through 4 generations of digital cellular evolution in the United States, South America, and Asia. He has been recognized multiple times for his customer advocacy and quality focus.
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Mission Critical Communications 1/24: Smart City Study Finds Mission-Critical LTE Importance, LMR Sustainability
The nationwide public-safety broadband network being procured by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) could revolutionize public-safety communications altogether. Next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) applications are helping increase efficiency for first responders and other agencies. The deployment of broadband LTE will eventually make it possible to transmit voice, data, pictures and video in real time. As these applications integrate with other “smart” efforts, public-safety professionals can more efficiently protect and deliver services to their communities. These communications modernizations should synchronize with other technological advancements that increase levels of service delivered to constituents. More than half (55 percent) of survey respondents specified that the most preferred model to fund public-safety communications is government grants. The development and procurement of FirstNet could be shaping this outlook.
Web and Social Media
FirstNet’s social media presence grew at the normal rate this week. Twitter gained 39 new followers, now at 4,922. Facebook has 656 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,838 followers. YouTube has 378 subscribers.