Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D.) today announced that his state will opt in to the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) system, becoming the 25th state or territory to do so. “First responders across our state risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of Minnesota,” said Gov. Dayton. “Modernizing our communications infrastructure will allow our courageous first responders to coordinate and respond more quickly, effectively, and safely, creating better outcomes for them and the communities they serve.”
“FirstNet promises to change the way Minnesota’s public safety personnel, in every corner of the state, do their jobs,” said Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman.
A news release said that in a letter to FirstNet, “Governor Dayton stressed the importance of FirstNet consulting with the 11 Federally Recognized Minnesota tribes as sovereign nations, to determine whether building out the public safety communications network on their land would be beneficial to their citizens. Once built, agencies across Minnesota will have the option to opt-in and subscribe to FirstNet service.”
“Governor Dayton’s decision to join FirstNet will enhance public safety communications throughout the state,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “This network will connect first responders operating across Minnesota, from the populous centers of the Twin Cities to remote areas near the Canadian border. FirstNet and AT&T are pleased to have delivered a plan that meets Minnesota’s unique needs, and we look forward to bringing the network to public safety throughout the Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
“We congratulate Governor Dayton on taking the first steps necessary to provide our state’s public safety community with the cutting-edge technologies they need to protect Minnesotans,” said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Minnesota. “AT&T is honored to bring FirstNet to Minnesota. We are proud to already have the most wireless coverage in Minnesota. And we are excited to strengthen our network coverage across the state to provide first responders with the innovative communications tools they deserve to carry out their life-saving mission.” —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org