The national news has lost sight of the fact that Lakes Charles Louisiana has been devastated by Hurricane Laura. There are Telecommunicators there that need our help.
The city of Lake Charles on the western side of Louisiana is located in Calcasieu Parish (a Parish is the equivalent of a county) and has a Parish population of over 200,000. This Parish and other surrounding Parishes were literally in the eye of the Hurricane with winds of over 130 MPH. These dedicated first responders have lost homes and property as they also work through the storm and continue to work through the restoration for others. We have posted several pictures showing some of the damage their community has sustained.
Let us show them they have not been forgotten. I know from past experiences that insurance will not pay for many of the expenses they will incur that are above and beyond the everyday expenses they still have. The Louisiana Chapter of APCO has always been fiscally responsible and more than that THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR EVERYONE IN NEED.
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Sign Petition to Ensure Preservation of Vital Broadband Resource
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2020
LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA), a newly formed coalition to protect public safety’s use of 4.9 GHz spectrum, announced yesterday during a national webinar that it has launched a petition supporting the effort. Organized by the Public Safety Broadband Technology Association (PSBTA), PSSA is comprised of public safety leadership and supporting associations, collaborating to spread awareness of first responders’ critical requirement to preserve the 4.9 GHz spectrum for their current and future broadband needs.
The PSSA initiative serves as public safety’s voice to communicate the vital need for spectrum and to assign it to the FirstNet Authority—which is in the best position to work collaboratively with the public safety community to determine a nationwide plan that optimizes the ability to protect life and property.
Members of the first responder community are asked to support the effort by signing and widely sharing the official PSSA petition to protect the spectrum and move it under the FirstNet Authority for oversight and stewardship. Here are the three objectives of the PSSA effort:
Protect and preserve 4.9 GHz nationwide spectrum for public safety use.
Assign the 4.9 GHz spectrum to the FirstNet Authority on behalf of public safety.
Require the FirstNet Authority to develop a spectrum plan for the 50 MHz of public safety spectrum at 4.9 GHz. This plan would allow for the continued support and protection of existing public safety licensees while also allocating a portion of the spectrum for 5G technologies and potentially integrating it with the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).
“Data is an integral part of helping public safety protect our citizens and communities and additional spectrum is needed to make it secure and accessible,” said Kim Zagaris, PSSA spokesman and retired fire chief. “The creation of FirstNet was a huge win for public safety and we need to raise our voices by signing the petition to ensure the 4.9 GHz spectrum remains with the same entity best positioned for its oversight and protection.”
Dependable, secure broadband connectivity is essential to overcome the difficult, life-threatening challenges first responders face in the field. Allocation of 4.9 GHz spectrum to the FirstNet Authority will ensure that it will be able to meet public safety’s present and future technology, communication and connectivity needs.
“I share with people that spectrum is essentially the lanes through the air by which data flows and it’s extremely valuable and critical to public safety’s future,” said Jeff Johnson, CEO of the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) and former vice chairman of the FirstNet Authority. “Moving the 4.9 GHz spectrum under the FirstNet Authority will help ensure those lanes are wide open for public safety.”
The PSBTA webinar held August 26 discusses the critical importance of the broadband resource and why the FirstNet Authority is built to protect and operate the 4.9 GHz spectrum. Click here to view the webinar.
The PSSA is open to anyone who supports the goals of this Alliance, including individuals and the private sector. To learn more, additional information and resources can be found at http://www.thepssa.org.
The Public Safety Spectrum Alliance (PSSA) is an alliance amongst the nation’s leading public safety leaders and associations. The PSSA is an initiative of the Public Safety Broadband Technology Association. The purpose of the PSSA is to ensure that first responders nationwide are able to use the most technologically advanced communications capability that meets the difficult, life threatening challenges they face as they protect America. Our goal is to raise awareness in the FCC, Congress and the White House about what our broadband public safety communications needs are, including use of 4.9 GHz and the continued enhancement of FirstNet—the only nationwide, interoperable wireless communications network built for the first responders who protect America.
The Public Safety Broadband Technology Association (PSBTA) is an organization focused exclusively on ensuring the success of the entire FirstNet ecosystem that includes the legal entity created by Congress, the network infrastructure, hardware and software, and the single most important component—the end users.
A new coalition representing diverse public safety stakeholders and 9-1-1 professionals is urging Congress to pass legislation that enables a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE August 25, 2020
The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, comprised of stakeholders from every discipline within the public safety community including the fire service, emergency medical service, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 professionals, is committed to advancing legislation that enables a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1. The Coalition has united behind legislative principles that will address the needs and concerns of public safety.
Next Generation 9-1-1 will enable first responders and 9-1-1 professionals to utilize voice, text, data, and video to better respond to calls for emergency assistance in the way the public expects today. Congress should pass legislation that provides the resources needed to help local and state governments upgrade this essential critical infrastructure.
The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Anna Eshoo and John Shimkus in the House, and by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Catherine Cortez Masto in the Senate, is a foundation upon which the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition seeks to build.
To ensure successful implementation of a much-needed nationwide upgrade, the Coalition is calling for the following principles to be incorporated as part of NG9-1-1 legislation:
• NG9-1-1 should be technologically and competitively neutral, and use commonly accepted standards that do not lead to proprietary solutions that hamper interoperability, make mutual aid between agencies less effective, limit choices, or increase costs. • Development of program requirements, grant guidance, application criteria, and rules regarding NG9-1-1 grants should be guided by an advisory board of public safety practitioners and 9-1-1 professionals. 2 • Sufficient funding in the amount of $15 billion to ensure NG9-1-1 is deployed throughout the country in an effective, innovative, and secure manner and to enable NG9-1-1 implementation training nationwide. • The process for allocating funds to localities should be efficient, federal overhead costs should be minimized, and grant conditions should not be onerous or extraneous and should be targeted to achieve important objectives including interoperability and sustainability. • Cybersecurity of NG9-1-1 systems should be a primary consideration. • Incentives for increased efficiency of NG9-1-1 functions, including through shared technology and regional collaboration, should be included.
Leaders representing public safety organizations that are part of the coalition provided the following quotes:
Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Oakland County (MI), Vice President of Government Affairs of the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA): “This robust group of organizations which represent all aspects of the public safety community has come to consensus on what our country needs to upgrade, secure, and modernize our outdated and aging 9-1-1 infrastructure. The work done by this coalition will dramatically change and improve the way 9-1-1 operates every time someone calls for help in their time of need. We appreciate the work being done by Congress to ensure this legislation is passed in a thoughtful and timely manner.”
Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Police Department, President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA): “Our nation is in critical need of an upgrade to our 9-1-1 infrastructure and as part of the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, the Major Cities Chiefs Association has worked extensively with our public safety colleagues to develop legislative principles that provide the resources needed for a nationwide upgrade. Effective public safety communication is essential to the safety and security of our communities and first responders. Unfortunately, there are insufficient state and local funds to cover the cost of the much-needed upgrade. Through commonly accepted standards, incentives, and an informed approach to grant making, our first responders and 9-1-1 professionals will be better equipped to handle and respond to 21st century demands.”
Chief Richard Carrizzo, President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC): “Next Generation 9-1-1 offers a great opportunity for local fire, EMS and law enforcement to better provide service to their communities. Because of the cost and scale of NG 9-1-1 deployment, we will require federal assistance. These principles provide for the scope required for a nationwide initiative, while ensuring the input of local first responders which are the end users of a NG 9-1-1 system.”
Chief Steven Casstevens, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP): “The IACP joins public safety stakeholders across the country in calling for Congress to pass legislation that would provide the resources needed to upgrade 9-1-1 systems infrastructure, so that police and the rest of the public safety community can better serve the people we were sworn to protect. 9-1-1 systems are critical infrastructure, that desperately need upgrading to enhance interoperability and emergency response assistance.”
President Kyle L. Thornton of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO): “This initiative will build, along with FirstNet, the interoperable framework EMS needs to meet the medical emergency challenges the country faces now and for the foreseeable future.”
Sheriff David Mahoney, Dane County (WI), President of the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA): “The Nation’s Sheriffs support NG9-1-1 legislation that allows us to save others while providing for a safer environment for First Responders nationwide by modernizing law enforcement communications. The ability to share voice, text, data and video between public safety and dispatch centers regardless of size or location will greatly enhance our ability to respond to events and improve lifesaving services.”
President Margie Moulin of the Association of Public Safety Communications Professionals (APCO):
“9-1-1 professionals across the country would greatly benefit from Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to carry out their life-saving missions. We were pleased to collaborate with our partner public safety associations on legislative language that will best ensure that Next Generation 9-1-1 is implemented in an interoperable, competitive, innovative, and secure manner.”
About the Coalition The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, comprised of stakeholders from every discipline within the public safety community, is committed to advancing legislation to enable a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1.