First Responder Network crucial for Iowa’s safety

Opting in will give emergency teams a better and certainly more affordable way to share crucial data during emergencies.

I’ve served as a law enforcement official in Iowa for nearly 30 years. During that time, I’ve had vast experience with the kinds of circumstances first responders are called to respond to in our communities. This includes training on mass casualty incidents.

I also served in the Iowa Senate for two terms, helping to lead efforts to enhance connections across our state through the “Connect Every Acre” program and relieving burdensome bureaucracy for construction of new cell towers. I know the future of how we respond to emergencies rests in making sure we have a robust network in place.

On a normal day, the general public is already placing unprecedented demand on cellular networks to access the internet, stream videos and use social media or other apps. But during high-volume times — such as disasters or large public gatherings — usage spikes and commercial networks can reach capacity, just when first responders need it most for vital, life-saving communication.

This opinion article was written by Steve Sodders and appears in the Times-Republican dated August 31, 2017.

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