GUEST COLUMN: FirstNet Crucial For Public Safety

With all the partisan bickering in Washington, D.C., it’s easy to think that progress has stalled on every issue. But something good happened recently, and Indiana could start seeing benefits soon.

In the spring, the federal government gave final approval to build FirstNet, a national wireless communications system for police, fire and rescue teams to coordinate during emergencies. With FirstNet, responders on the front lines of a crisis will be able to talk and share information immediately, not sacrificing a single second when time is precious.

This is great news for the state of Indiana. As Hoosiers know, we are vulnerable to natural disasters like flooding and tornadoes, which require fast and skillful response from emergency personnel. But tornadoes aren’t bound by state lines, and our first responders must sometimes aid our neighbors in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, too. Coordinating across departments requires communication systems that cooperate seamlessly, without fear of dropped calls or weak signals.

This opinion article was written by Tom Wyss, Retired Indiana State Senator, and appears in news-sentinel.com dated July 25, 2017.

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