FirstNet publishes resource guide for emergency managers – GCN

FirstNet publishes resource guide for emergency managers

To help emergency responders get the most out of the dedicated national wireless broadband network, FirstNet authorities have released a guide detailing the main features of the network and how public safety agencies can get the most out of it. of these assets in their communities.

The guide covers a number of topics related to emergency management communications, including features managers can use in their day-to-day roles as well as those dedicated to incidents. It begins by explaining FirstNet’s suite of technology platforms and applications and also highlights features that can be used for local self-help.

In an emergency, effective communication is essential. FirstNet can improve cellular reception for responders operating in areas with poor connectivity by accessing a number of deployable assets unique to FirstNet. With more than 100 satellite trucks and active wheeled cells (COWs), FirstNet can support its subscribers at no additional cost, the guide explains. Agencies can contact the customer service line to request a deployable asset to ensure they have connectivity in the event of disasters or other critical incidents.

While preparing for response operations, emergency managers can also use FirstNet Central, an online system available through a browser-based portal accessible from emergency operations centers or even police stations. mobile command, provided there is a network connection. The system includes a network condition tool, which allows public safety agencies to increase their situational awareness and assess how various conditions, such as weather, may affect communications.

Likewise, FirstNet’s Uplift Request Tool helps major agencies, such as law enforcement, fire departments, or emergency medical services, avoid problems created by a congested network, by raising the status of priority and preemption of their communications. With this tool, emergency managers can ‘boost’ network traffic to specified groups during an emergency, speeding up communication during critical times and ensuring that responders are not in competition with the big one. public for bandwidth in an emergency.

In addition to emergencies, FirstNet also provides tools for the day-to-day use of responders. Users have access to a application catalog, all of which are pre-approved for public safety. With the FirstNet Application Development Portal, mobile developers can access software development kits and application programming interfaces to ensure their applications meet stakeholder needs.

The guide also provides tips on creating and using a device cache – smartphones or preconfigured base phones, tablets or wireless internet access points that can be distributed to peer support partners in the event of a problem. emergency. Agencies need to preload cached devices with the applications they use and integrate them into radio networks. FirstNet deployables only work with FirstNet Ready devices (Band 14 compatible), the guide adds.

Finally, the report offers recommendations on how agencies can modify their existing emergency communications planning documents. A number of pro tips and use cases throughout the guide will also help public safety agencies take advantage of FirstNet’s ecosystem of applications, devices and capabilities.

Read the full guide here.

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of Capital Region media. He can be contacted at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.

Margie D. Carlisle