“FirstNet Helps Save Lives”

How the Nation’s Most Important Wireless Network was Born

“First responders from other states headed to New York and Washington, D.C. While their assistance was welcomed, their presence further complicated the communications conundrum.”

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Chief Chuck Dowd pulled up to the security gate at the New York City 9-1-1 Center where he was commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s communications division. An officer told him that a small plane had just hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. While the news concerned him, he had no idea what he was about to walk into.

“I went into the 9-1-1 Center and the place was a madhouse,” Dowd said. “As you can imagine, the calls were coming in from everywhere and they were horrific. Our folks were talking to people in the buildings who they knew were not going to get out alive. It was a terrible time.”



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