By Lori Stone, Senior Public Safety Advisor, First Responder Network Authority
The tragedies of September 11, 2001, highlighted the need for improvements to the communication systems used by public safety agencies.
The First Responder Network Authority and FirstNet were created to provide a nationwide interoperable communications network for public safety after some first responders experienced difficulties communicating across agencies. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the Hospital Preparedness Program after seeing that the nation’s healthcare system was not adequately prepared for the number of people who could be seeking assistance in the aftermath of a catastrophic health emergency. This program led to the formation of healthcare coalitions across the country, consisting of local and regional healthcare institutions and responding agencies that collaboratively prepare for, and respond to, emergencies.