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Blog // Connect Michigan

Sharing One Network Improves Communication and Outcomes

By Jessica Denson

It’s hard to believe but America’s first responders rely on more than 10,000 separate radio networks to communicate with each other during emergencies. There’s a glaring issue with this—those networks are often incompatible.

First responders are not connected to one network, and it’s making it hard for emergency crews from different jurisdictions to work together. For police, fire, and EMS, that lack of clear communication can mean the difference between life and death for those they’re trying to help and even puts their own safety at risk.

That’s where the FirstNet network comes in by changing how first responders work with one another. FirstNet will be a single, nationwide, interoperable LTE network for public safety communications. It will give first responders priority in emergency situations making it possible for them to better communicate amongst themselves and with the public.

“There is some synergy [for fire] with the data that’s collected from law enforcement, as well as the data that fire collects for law enforcement,” Harry Beck, Fire Chief for the City of Mesa Fire/Medical Department in Arizona, said. “And the ability to share that back and forth, especially in real-time in the event of an emergency, is absolutely critical.”

For more information about the work taking place, head to the First Network Responders Authority website.



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