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Outreach Continues in California for Successful Public Safety Broadband Network Implementation

Author: Lilly Wyatt/California OES

Date: 2014-11-24
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The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Public Safety Communications Office held its fifth Town Hall meeting in Sacramento on Nov. 20th to inform first responders and other public safety communications personnel about the future implementation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) through the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

Participants learned how FirstNet is being developed in the golden state, current initiatives and how local agencies can start preparing for this program.

With FirstNet, California’s first responders could have access to the new nationwide, high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety that will empower them to save lives, solve crimes and keep our communities safe like never before.

“As California’s point of contact for FirstNet, I am committed to working with state and local emergency first responders to ensure that the NPSBN meets the needs of first responders and public safety workers across California,” said Karen Wong, Assistant Director of Public Safety Communications at Cal OES.

Brian Fontes, CEO of the National Emergency Number Association shared how the wireless 9-1-1 implementation and deployment with FirstNet would improve emergency communications on both sides of the 9-1-1 calls.

“We are striving to develop a highly functional, intuitive, interoperable “system of systems” capable of handling and utilizing voice, video and data to enable a more tailored response to every emergency,” said Fontes. “It’s essential that today’s 9-1-1 centers have the advanced technology needed for staff to better serve 9-1-1 callers.”

Karl Pedroni from American Medical Response (AMR) provided information about an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine that can transmit the EKG image directly to hospitals and physicians. Emergency Room physicians can read the EKG image and diagnose the patient before the patient arrives at the hospital.

Click image above to watch video about FirstNet
[caution: volume begins VERY LOUD]


Participants also received valuable information from Bill Schrier, State of Washington Office of the Chief Information Officer regarding Washington’s Initial State Consultation; Michael Boyden, Science Applications International Corporation Program Director who provided a State update; Charles Cullen, California State 9-1-1 Advisory Board Member shared the local 9-1-1 perspective and Bill Denke, Chief of Police of Sycuan Tribal Police Department provided a Tribal perspective on FirstNet.

Last week’s meeting at the California State Lottery building is the latest in a series across the state that also includes town halls in Lakeport, Bakersfield, Fairfield and Santa Ana. The next meeting is scheduled to be held in Humboldt County in early 2015.

About FirstNet:
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as an independent authority within National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.

For more information on FirstNet and its implementation in California, please visit

- People, Places & Things/ (via Cal-OES, 11/20/14)


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