The Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA) is urging Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R.) to opt into the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) system. “Florida’s fire chiefs are responsible for making critical decisions to ensure the safety of citizens and first responders during every day operations and large-scale disaster events,” FFCA President Otto Drozd said in a statement today on a letter that the group sent the governor yesterday. “To do that effectively, they require a nationwide, high-speed broadband network dedicated to public safety communications.
Through FirstNet’s expanded strategic partnership with AT&T, the FFCA believes the infrastructure, technology and resources are in place to give our public safety leaders the best opportunity to make timely, informed decisions that impact their communities, our state and our nation.” In the letter, Mr. Drozd said, “The benefit of the partnership is that emergency service agencies can begin leveraging the AT&T network through priority access and preemption as soon as a decision is made to affirmatively opt-in to the FirstNet system.” In fact, AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, has said that priority access would be available immediately but preemption would not be available until the end of this year.