As the nation continues to combat the spread of coronavirus, the FirstNet communications platform, built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority is bringing advanced capabilities to first responders across the country. Now, first responder public safety agencies on FirstNet can get premium FirstNet Ready smartphone devices for free for their agency paid users to connect them to critical communications when and where they need it most.
“First responders deserve a dedicated communications partner that can provide the tools they need, when they need them, and that’s exactly what they’re getting with FirstNet,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T in a statement. “We are here working side-by-side with public safety and together we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19. Now, agencies spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 911 operations can stay up-to-date with smartphones for life at no additional cost and know their responders’ devices are up to the task when the next emergency strikes.”
The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet, now completing its second year, the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders. While commercial wireless offerings are available to public safety, FirstNet continues to grow because its public safety features stand above other wireless networks built for commercial use, said AT&T.
To support FirstNet subscribers responding to the coronavirus, first responders can also benefit from expanded mapping visibility. Through Local Control, the primary service portal for agencies using FirstNet, public safety administrators now have easy access to the interactive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) dashboard created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Agencies can view confirmed cases in relation to their jurisdiction and couple this insight with the FirstNet Esri-embedded network status map – that now includes hospital and trauma levels – for better situational awareness.