Standards Called Crucial for FirstNet Apps

DENVER – The development of standards is crucial for public safety data and applications, Mark Golaszewski, director-applications for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), said during a session this morning at the APCO 2017 show here. “We’ve got a long road to hoe in terms of standards,” Mr. Golaszewski said, and he stressed that standards will help drive the economies of scale.

As an example of the need for standards for the sharing of public safety data, he said that public safety agencies should rethink mutual aid agreements to include what data and applications will be shared and now just voice channels.

“There are no requirements for public safety to adopt FirstNet,” Mr. Golaszewski noted. “Therefore, it’s vital that we create innovative apps and solutions that provide compelling value propositions.” During the session, current and former public safety officials discussed the benefits of public safety apps to first responders.

Jeff Carl, director engineering and operations for AT&T FirstNet, highlighted the public safety app development program planned for FirstNet. He said that the carrier, which is FirstNet’s network partner, wants to leverage work already done in the apps world “instead of reinventing the wheel.” He noted that AT&T has a network of 40,000 apps developers, and that there has been interest in developing public safety apps.

Neil Miller, the sheriff of Buffalo County, Neb., said mobile connectivity and apps have allowed his officers to stay in the field to work on reports and other matters and not return to the office.  “They turn their car into kind of like their mobile office,” he said. —Paul Kirby,