By Lori Stone, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor
Buses taking students to and from schools in Carroll County, Maryland are now equipped with FirstNet. With these advanced communication capabilities, the fleet can stay in touch with school headquarters at all times, enhancing the safety and security of students.
The county school system has contracts with 40 different bus companies to provide more than 300 buses that transport 23,000 students. Mike Hardesty, director of the Carroll County Public Schools’ (CCPS) Transportation Services Department, and his team oversee the entire operation and are responsible for making sure the buses are maintained, including investing in new technology. He said that communicating with bus drivers was done poorly before installing FirstNet in October 2020, noting, “We were living on borrowed time without the capability of having a system-wide emergency communications system.”