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Blog // Connect Michigan

“Count Us In,” Baltimore Fire Chief Says of FirstNet

By Jessica Denson

This week, Idaho and Texas opted in to the state plans for FirstNet, joining Maryland and 20 other states. Once complete, FirstNet will become a nationwide LTE broadband network that will give priority to public safety officials. Baltimore Fire Chief Niles Ford calls the network “a watershed moment” for firefighters and other first responders.

“I think that FirstNet is going to open a whole lot of doors that we have not had an opportunity to walk through from a technological standpoint,” Ford said. “It’s going to give us an opportunity to do things and be connected to people and circumstances we would have never been.”

Ford said FirstNet will give first responders better and more up-to-date information on where fire and police crews are and their conditions when entering a dangerous area or a building where there is no line-of-sight.

The fire chief said it will make it easier to communicate across different organizations when fire, police, and emergency personnel are responding to a scene.

“All of us are going to have the opportunity to be on the same level, all of us will be able to communicate,” Ford said. “For me, that’s going to be groundbreaking in respect to the services that we’re going to provide the community. And, like I always say, we exist to serve the community, and if we can do it better, you can count us in.”

To learn more about FirstNet, click here.

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