The town of Duck has implemented a technology upgrade with FirstNet – a new communications platform just for public safety.
FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. Established by Congress, the FirstNet Authority is working to strengthen public safety users’ communications capabilities. Challenges to these capabilities were identified following the 9/11 attacks and public safety officials have worked closely with the authority to create a dedicated wireless network for use during emergencies. A request for proposals from wireless companies was issued in 2016, with AT&T selected during a competitive procurement process to enter this public-private partnership.
Duck is testing this technology for police, fire, surf rescue and administrative staff to ensure that all essential personnel can be in contact during any event. The FirstNet network offers priority access to wireless communications, increased network capacity and improved location services for rescue and recovery, all with full encryption and cyber security. This addition supports technology already employed by the town and will provide service for mobile data terminals in vehicles and license plate readers used by Duck police officers.
“Communications are critical for success in any emergency. I look forward to realizing the capabilities with the buildout of FirstNet in providing pre-emption and uninterrupted crucial services during high impact events,” said Duck Fire Chief Donna Black.
“It’s important for our department to maintain future readiness,” said Duck Police Chief John Cueto. “We anticipate that FirstNet will help us do that. Not only does it give us a powerful connection – whether that’s for our smartphones or other connected devices like license plate readers – but we expect to see a cost savings compared to what we were spending on our prior service.”