EMS worker shortage at ‘crisis’ levels, threatening 911 system

Emergency medical service providers across the U.S. are sounding the alarm that the shortage of medical workers has hit “crisis” levels in many areas, warning Congress that the problem is getting to the point that it is threatening the 911 system.

The American Ambulance Association sent a letter to House and Senate leadership saying the “nation’s EMS system is facing a crippling workforce shortage, a long-term problem that has been building for more than a decade. It threatens to undermine our emergency 9-1-1 infrastructure and deserves urgent attention by the Congress.” … READ MORE

FirstNet Authority Supports SMART emergency management practices through planning, preparedness programs

By Bruce Fitzgerald, Senior Public Safety Advisor, Emergency Management, First Responder Network Authority

The last 18 months have put emergency managers to the test. Managing the pandemic, civil unrest, and natural disasters with reduced budgets and limited resources has required ingenuity, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, Time-based) practices, strong partnerships, and the help of innovative technologies.

As emergency management agencies turn to mobile broadband tools for greater support, emergency managers are recognizing the need to train, exercise, and properly plan and assess technology usage before, during, and after response. To this end, many emergency managers are looking to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) for help.


Public Safety Advocate: September Ends with IWCE, October Begins with a Roar

Last week was the first live IWCE conference since 2019. Meanwhile, on the last day of September, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 4-0 in favor of moving forward with the Eighth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 4.9-GHz spectrum.

One large Land Mobile Radio (LMR) vendor wants to solve the Push-To-Talk (PTT) interoperability issue for FirstNet/LTE/LMR using its Critical Connect cloud service. However, a much smaller company provides push-to-talk interoperability that is available today. This solution is an example of how we can reach the goal of nationwide push-to-talk interoperability on FirstNet/LTE systems and integrate broadband PTT with LMR PTT services.

Last month, I joined a US Department of the Interior webinar series to listen to the portion provided by FirstNet (Built with AT&T) and a number of FirstNet users from multiple Tribal Nations. I will cover this webinar in more detail next week…

Supply chain risk matters when it comes to cybersecurity for next-gen 911

The 911 system is important to all Americans, and a bill before the Senate on next generation 911 infrastructure, or NG911, will provide states and territories the resources to close many 911 capability gaps — but it is missing critical provisions regarding the cyber supply chain.

Importantly, the bill includes funds and policies to address cybersecurity as part of modernizing public safety communications. 911 is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and municipalities and organizations have been compromised by low-end ransomware, denial of service attacks and other vectors. Senate Bill 2754 provides $10 billion to help facilitate the transition from legacy public safety networks to the NG911 standard by distributing grants to local agencies responsible for 911…

U.S. Air Force selects FirstNet built with AT&T for communications across 15 bases

  • The U.S. Air Force selected FirstNet, built with AT&T (NYSE:T) to deliver communications to its public safety personnel and, for first responders, preemption, on 15 bases across the U.S.
  • The agreement struck between the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and AT&T provides for the delivery of FirstNet connectivity for 21 years: the remaining life of the public-private partnership between the U.S. government and AT&T…
Uber says 911 centers can now track location if you call through app in case of emergency

Uber says 911 centers can now track location if you call through app in case of emergency

You’ve been able to call 911 through Uber for years, but now the company says the majority of Chicago area 911 centers are now able to track your location.

911 dispatchers will always ask for your address when you call, but you may not know the answer to that or other crucial details if you need emergency help in an Uber.

“You may not be able to verbalize the vehicle you’re in, you probably don’t know the license plate,” said Madelyn Walsh, DuPage Public Safety Communications Center dispatcher.

Walsh said she and other emergency responders will automatically know those details and an exact location if riders or drivers use the new “slide to call” 911 feature in the Uber app…