New broadband network aids first responders

On the heel of the Las Vegas shooting and natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, a new communication system is the latest to help first responders save lives.

Posted: Oct 20, 2017 4:01 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2017 4:01 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - On the heel of the Las Vegas shooting and natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes, a new communication system is the latest to help first responders save lives.

The program is set to change the way police, fire, EMS and other public safety agencies communicate during a large scale disaster.

The Hoosier state is the latest to opt-in to FirstNet. It's a public-private partnership between the federal government at AT&T to build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband network.

Vigo County 9-1-1 Director Rob McMullen says, “You’re not fighting for broadband data. You’re not fighting for tower space. Instead of having to deal with the normal, everyday person trying to make a cellular call, you can flip that switch to where everything is routed basically to the public safety folks to where they get total priority.”

Indiana Integrated Public Safety Commission Executive Director Dave Vice says, “It’s going to bring real time information whether it be in pictures, video or whatever into the dispatch centers and into the chief’s and supervisor’s realm.”  

McMullen says this new system will not impact daily operations.

It could take twelve to eighteen months to build-out the infrastructure.

The system could benefit smaller communities with fewer towers. The infrastructure expansion will provide better service.

McMullen adds this is a step in the right direction but he would like to see more done to bolster existing 9-1-1 technology.  

 

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