As we celebrate the FirstNet one year anniversary, Panasonic recognizes a milestone for the public safety community that’s proven critical to helping them protect our communities – the launch of the FirstNet network. The long-awaited rollout of this nationwide, high speed broadband network granted first responders and those who support them the ability to connect to the critical information they need every day. This level of connectivity is an essential tool public safety relies on throughout the response and recovery process.
Panasonic has remained committed to equipping the public safety community with the reliable devices and seamless connectivity they need to protect their communities when it matters most. That’s why we’ve spent the last year educating public safety agencies about FirstNet and how our devices, such as the TOUGHBOOK 33 and TOUGHBOOK 54, can support their needs. But our work with our clients doesn’t end when our devices are delivered.
As a trusted technology partner, we’re here to help guide our customers as emerging technologies push their jobs and industries further. This means ensuring that public safety agencies have the right information, tools and technology they need to not only seamlessly join FirstNet, but also serve their communities as effectively as possible. As the public safety community bands together to celebrate the FirstNet anniversary, our mission remains the same – sharing the information public safety needs to understand the ways emerging technology is affecting their industry, both now and in the future. Here are the key ways in which FirstNet has helped first responders over the past year:
FirstNet Launches: A New Era of Situational Awareness
When the FirstNet core launched in March 2018, eligible public safety subscribers, such as fire, police and EMS across the U.S., gained access to priority and preemption services over a dedicated LTE network core. All 50 states, five territories and Washington, D.C. had already opted into the communications platform, so were ready for this reliable and highly secure network.
Responding to the Needs of First Responders
With FirstNet positioned to transform how first responders serve their communities, Panasonic teamed up with AT&T and Sierra Wireless to ensure that the public safety community understands what FirstNet is, what it means for agencies and how they can prepare for FirstNet. We (quite literally) hit the road in a 40-foot truck outfitted to bring an immersive, educational experience to the public safety community so they could explore how to seamlessly transition onto the network.
While on the road, we stopped by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference to speak with police and public safety officers from agencies across the U.S. to learn more about their transition to FirstNet. Officers shared that FirstNet Capable devices helped them do their job more safely and efficiently, and have improved their confidence in their connection between dispatch and other officers. We were pleased to not only connect with our customers, but also hear that FirstNet had been fulfilling its promise to give first responders the communications platform they need when responding to emergencies.
Putting FirstNet to the Test During Natural Disasters
The need for a dedicated communications platform for first responders became apparent after first responders faced communication challenges during September 11, 2001 – and the need for FirstNet persists. Just last year, the nation experienced many threats to public safety, including hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes that tested the efficacy of FirstNet. With FirstNet, gone are the days when disaster recovery relied on disparate teams who weren’t equipped with the intelligence they needed to accomplish their mission. When put to the test after Hurricane Michael hit, FirstNet operated at 90 percent or better than normal performance throughout the storm, keeping first responders connected when it mattered most.
Beyond proving to be an integral component of disaster recovery, FirstNet provides first responders, such as EMS and extended primary users, like hospital personnel, with a reliable, high speed data network to enhance care for patients. FirstNet not only allows medical personnel to transmit critical patient care data on the go, but also tap into remote response and telehealth capabilities to deliver more efficient and improved healthcare to communities.
To find out how you can join FirstNet in its second year, visit www.toughbookfirstresponder.com.
FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.