Enhancing Situational Awareness and Improving Public Safety Outcomes

By First Responder Network Authority

Whether securing large events or responding to local emergencies, it can be a challenge for public safety to keep track of where first responders are positioned. Historically, tracking first responders in the field meant repeated radio roll-calls where units identify with their call sign and location and incident scribes map the scene on a white board – a labor-intensive process that didn’t provide the up-to-the-minute situational awareness incident commanders need for optimal decision-making.

Some agencies have improved the tracking process by attaching GPS tracking sensors to emergency vehicles, enabling dispatch to track a unit’s location and send the closest unit available. Still, once responders leave their vehicles, they become disconnected and their location unknown.

FirstNet, public safety’s dedicated, nationwide broadband network, is opening the door to life-changing mobile technology never before available to public safety in the field. With location services, FirstNet is helping to address the “where-are-they-and-where-do-they-need-to-be” decisions that incident commanders regularly face. The network is built to carry high-speed data, including images and video, and allows public safety to pinpoint location – helping first responders and incident commanders get better situational awareness and work toward better outcomes.

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