FirstNet Authority staff at FirstNet booth at International Association of Emergency Managers annual conference.

FirstNet Authority engages with emergency managers at IAEM

The FirstNet Authority attended the 2019 International Association of Emergency Managers 67th Annual Conference, meeting with emergency managers from across the nation and gathering their feedback on their critical communications needs.



Interior of speedboat, Lake Ozark Fire Protection District boats on the lake, Lake Ozark firefighters sit on top of their ladder truck

Preparation is Key First Responder Network Authority enhances readiness in Missouri

Every summer, tens of thousands of boating enthusiasts descend on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for one of the most popular powerboat racing events in the nation. For the 2019 Lake Race, local public safety agencies relied on FirstNet to support their communication and data needs. FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor Kyle Richardson provides an overview of the event, including a demonstration of the Roadmap principles in action.


A University of Mississippi Medical Center helicopter on the roof of a medical facility and an ambulance driving on a city street.

Expanded Telehealth Uses and Capabilities on the FirstNet Network

The FirstNet Authority’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) formed a Strike Team to examine the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport program. Chief Jonathan Olson of Wake County, NC EMS and FirstNet Authority PSAC Executive Committee member, details how the FirstNet network is uniquely situated to support this program and how under this program, patients will receive increased access to the services they need.


Driving innovation for disaster response to support America’s first responders and build resilient communities

When disaster strikes, public safety and local officials need the best tools to save lives, and a critical response infrastructure is necessary to help economies recover and remain resilient after these events. In recognition of this, three agencies within the Department of Commerce have come together to launch the Accelerate R2 Network Challenge to foster innovations in response and resiliency technologies.


“September 2019 3GPP Plenary Meetings” over an image of 3GPP meeting attendees listening and taking notes on laptops as a panel of four speakers at the front give a presentation.

Direct Mode Enhancements Move Forward in Latest 3GPP Standards

The FirstNet Authority recently participated in the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meetings in Newport Beach, California. Dean Prochaska, FirstNet Authority Director of Standards, recaps the standards body meeting and what it means for public safety.


The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency logo on a truck.

FirstNet Helps Save Lives during Gas Outage in Rhode Island

In January 2019, a gas outage in Newport County, RI left over 7,100 residents without heat in frigid temperatures. Mike Varney, FirstNet Authority Director of Field Operations for the Northeast Region, details how ruggedized FirstNet Devices, WiFi hotspots, and GIS mapping software helped the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and local public safety agencies ensure residents were safe.


Six icons representing the Roadmap domains connected by a line over an image of two FirstNet Authority staff speaking to an audience of law enforcement and fire services representatives.

A New Approach to Public Safety Engagement Focused on Roadmap Priorities

The FirstNet Authority has always relied on input and feedback from public safety, and with the release of the Roadmap, the FirstNet Authority is continuing this engagement with stakeholders in a new, targeted manner. David Buchanan, FirstNet Authority Executive Director of Public Safety, describes this new approach and how it will help inform the evolution and improvement of the network.


Missouri Field Operations Guide cover with Missouri state outline and Missouri state seal overlaid.

FirstNet added to Missouri Field Operations Guide to support communications interoperability

As mobile broadband communications become increasingly embedded in public safety operations, states are updating policy and process documents to account for this new way of communicating. Recently, the Missouri Department of Public Safety updated the Missouri Field Operations Guide, a statewide reference tool that outlines established and trusted interoperable communications solutions for first responders, to include FirstNet.


Eleven representatives who broke ground at a cell tower on the Red Cliff reservation stand in front of an excavator.

FirstNet Investing in Indian Country

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s in Wisconsin was the first tribe to participate in in-depth discussions with the First Responder Network Authority, and they were the first to sign an agreement with AT&T to build a new cell tower on tribal land. Margaret Gutierrez, National Tribal Government Liaison (Regions I-VIII) for the FirstNet Authority discusses how this buildout will help both the first responders supporting the Red Cliff Band and the residents who live there.


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