During the FirstNet board meeting held April 23 in Washington, D.C., the Boston Marathon bombing was raised and how this future public safety broadband network might have helped in this type of terrorist bombing situation.
FirstNet Board Chairman Sam Ginn felt that “Congress got it right” because FirstNet will build state-of-the-art LTE infrastructure that will allow downloads of video transmission, uploading of camera images and photos of persons to be swiftly disseminated to law enforcement across jurisdictions.
Board member Charles “Chuck” Dowd, deputy chief of the New York City Policy Department, gave a further example of bomb squads from various jurisdictions pooling their expertise and working together using real-time, high-definition video to help the local bomb squad deal with a particular device.
Board member Kevin McGinnis, chief/CEO of North East Mobile Health Services, gave a final example that he can monitor the vital signs of 20 bombing victim patients on his smartphone, but that doesn’t work unless he has a robust broadband system and the smartphones for his emergency medical service professionals.
Authorized by Congress last year, FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. The broadband data network will be built using LTE, the most advanced wireless technology available at present. Overseen by representatives of public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.