Kevin McGinnis has spent 28 years in the emergency medical services field. He knows the problems of the day and what a national public safety broadband network could do for them. And now he finally sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

McGinnis serves as a First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board member and is the CEO of North East Mobile Health Services, an emergency transfer service that answers more than 30,000 calls a year in Maine.

McGinnis said the combination of public safety officials and commercial wireless industry executives on the FirstNet board makes him optimistic that the national network will be completed before its estimated 10- to 15-year finish date.

“When they talk about making decisions on spending $10 million in the next couple of months to build a component of the system and hiring dozens or hundreds of people, it’s breathtaking from a public safety background, but it’s what you have to do,” he said.

McGinnis looks at state and local projects well under way as further evidence that the national network will be completed. Local jurisdictions already developing public safety systems will have made mistakes and corrected them, he said. “When people see the systems in operation, other systems are going to be quicker to build.”

Photo by Michael Penney

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Jim McKay  |  Contributing Editor

Jim McKay is the editor of Emergency Management magazine. He lives in Orangevale, Calif., with his wife, Christie, daughter, Ellie and son, Ronan. He relaxes by fly fishing on the Truckee River for big, wild trout.