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NPSTC Position Paper on First Responder Location Tracking

Date: 2017-12-07
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The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) is pleased to release its position paper concerning First Responder Location Tracking. 


First Responder Location Tracking

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) studied the First Responder Location Tracking issue and developed the following position:


  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not require carriers to locate first responders or provide any manner of location services to first responders, only the locations of 911 callers to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Because of the importance of location to first responders themselves, FirstNet has separately required Enhanced Location Services be provided as part of its public safety network offering.
  • The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has gone on record regarding the importance of location based services to track first responders. The original RFP documents required Enhanced Location 4 years after contract award (IOC-4 March 2021). Initial State Plans noted that Enhanced Location would be available 5 years after contract award (March 2022). During recent Congressional testimony, both FirstNet and AT&T stated their intention to provide Enhanced Location at some point in 2020. FirstNet's Board has also indicated a preference for Enhanced Location services to be implemented by 2019.

Position Statement:

  • FirstNet is developing solutions to track police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel, which are of critical importance to first responder safety. The ability of FirstNet to incorporate location technology to field responders into its network is of critical importance to first responder safety. This includes the ability to locate first responders in both outdoor and indoor environments.
  • FirstNet should implement these capabilities by June 2019.
  • NPSTC offers to assist FirstNet, including through its Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), in its efforts to develop responder tracking technologies.

- People, Places & Things/ (via NPSTC, 11/16/17)


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