It’s our duty to address first responders’ mental health & wellness (Guest Opinion by Anna Fitch Courie)

It’s our duty to address first responders’ mental health & wellness (Guest Opinion by Anna Fitch Courie)

Anna Fitch Courie, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and registered nurse certified in public health, is the Director of Responder Wellness for the FirstNet Program at AT&T. She is based in Columbia, South Carolina. FirstNet is a nationwide emergency communications network created by Congress after the 9/11 terror attacks. AT&T built FirstNet through a public-private partnership.

Not all superheroes wear capes. In fact, many wear scrubs, paramedic uniforms, dispatch headsets, fireproof jackets and badges. We saw this during the pandemic as first responders braved the risk of COVID infection to protect our neighbors during one of the most challenging periods of our lives. These remarkable women and men run toward danger rather than away from it. While they never think of themselves as heroes, to many they are. But they are also human and can be deeply impacted by the life-changing, dangerous, and traumatic situations they confront on a daily basis…

Are law enforcement officers unknowingly breaking the law by using consumer messaging apps?

More than 80% of first responders said that interoperability – the ability to communicate with other agencies across differing technologies – is of “critical” or “somewhat” concern, according to a November 2021 survey by Verizon.

Despite the pervasive presence and accessibility public messaging apps to enable interoperability, the use of these consumer programs among police and first responders poses significant workplace and legal risks. And unfortunately, an overwhelming number of public safety employees use consumer apps, along with SMS texting, for work-related communications – breaking the law while doing so without realizing it…

The 911 emergency system is outdated. Updating it to the cloud is risky.

The 911 emergency system is outdated. Updating it to the cloud is risky.

Dialing 911 could be the most important phone call you will ever make. But what happens when the software that’s supposed to deliver that call fails you? It may seem simple, but the technology behind a call for help is complicated, and when it fails, deadly.

The infrastructure supporting emergency contact centers is one of the most critical assets for any city, town or local government. But just as the pandemic exposed the creaky tech infrastructure that runs local governments, in many cases the technology in those call centers is outdated and hasn’t been touched for decades…

Public Safety Advocate: Spectrum, Licensed and Unlicensed, Who Wins, Who Loses

Article after article has been written to make a case that broadband in the United States should be available to all regardless of where they are located or their ability to pay for the service. While “broadband for all” has been a goal for the wireless/fixed communications industry a long time now, progress has been slow.

Now Congress has allocated $65B toward closing the “digital divide” and the FCC and others continue to fund various aspects of deploying broadband systems. If I were to grade the United States on two properties of broadband deployments, I would give us an “A” for the number of broadband technology options for fixed and wireless communications deployments and a “D” for actually extending broadband to rural America and to those who cannot afford it…

How Will Public Safety Be Affected by the 3G Sunset?

Companies Tout Benefits of Upgrading to 5G Networks

Despite protests from some organizations, such as the AICC, AT&T maintains it has done about all it can to prepare customers, with at least three years’ notice of the change. The company also provided business customers more than $100 million in incentives to replace obsolete devices, Fierce Wireless reports.

AT&T has already migrated more than 37 million Internet of Things (IoT) devices off the 3G network and is willing to help those who have not yet fully migrated…

Putting FirstNet to the test for remote 9-1-1 operations

By John Hunt and Lori Stone, Senior Public Safety Advisors, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority)

One thing the 9-1-1 community learned from the pandemic was the need to plan for alternate ways to work. Rather than be tied to workstations at fixed locations, 9-1-1 telecommunicators need flexibility to remotely take, dispatch, and supervise calls. In December 2021, Maryland telecommunicators put FirstNet to the test, demonstrating the network’s connectivity and reliability during remote operations.

Remote call-taking expo

Six counties from across Maryland staged a 9-1-1 expo with live call-taking from a remote and crowded location using FirstNet.  READ FULL ARTICLE