Seattle Fire Dept Adopts FirstNet Platform for First Responder Comms

New Technologies Expand First Responders’ Capabilities to Better Serve Seattle

PRESS RELEASE

eattle Fire Department is connecting its firefighters and paramedics to FirstNet – a new communications platform just for public safety. With this tech advancement, they can equip their first responders with new capabilities and reliable access to critical information while in the field. That allows them to better serve those who live, work and visit Seattle.

FirstNet is designed to improve communications across public safety entities nationwide, allowing first responders to easily and quickly communicate with one another during everyday situations, big events or emergencies. This is integral to solving for the common roadblock that communications issues have imposed on past public safety responses.

Seattle Fire is using FirstNet on their smartphones and rig apparatus. They plan to deploy modems as well.

“FirstNet is useful for everyday emergencies and widespread disasters, and also for special events,” said Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins. “With FirstNet in place, we have increased confidence in our communication methods for use during highly attended public events. During this year’s SeaFair activities, we were able to communicate important safety information without the worry of encountering congestion issues.”

Seattle Fire joined FirstNet to provide their first responders with reliable, modern communications tools needed to perform at their best, including:

  • One, nationwide communications platform that allows them to efficiently and effectively coordinate emergency responses across agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Always-on priority and preemption to give them reliable access to the connection they need – even when the network is congested.
  • A physically separate, highly secure network core purpose-built for public safety’s sensitive communications.
  • Planned increases in coverage and capacity, enabling them to better respond to emergencies in all areas of Seattle – and across the state.
  • Innovative tools – like relevant applications and connected devices – to give them more actionable information for heightened situational awareness.

“FirstNet presents an opportunity for emergency responder agencies to consistently communicate and share important information we need to help others. This is a good investment for us that has already started to pay benefits, meet the needs of first responders, and make a difference to those we serve,” said Seattle Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Lombard. “Already, even before completing our roll-out, we have had the opportunity to utilize FirstNet during deployments to wildfires in Alaska, hurricanes Barry and Dorian, and multiple special events within the city. We have been very pleased with the use of the system.”

FirstNet is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). It’s designed with and for public safety.

“We’re honored that the Seattle Fire Department chose FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T – Public Safety & FirstNet “It’s our mission to give first responders the cutting-edge tools they need to safely and effectively achieve their mission. FirstNet will help first responders in Seattle and across the country perform at the highest levels to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm’s way.”

“FirstNet is the exclusive communications platform being built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety. There is no substitution for this dedicated network,” said Jeff Bratcher, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, FirstNet Authority. “We look forward to supporting the Seattle Fire Department and all of Washington’s public safety community with FirstNet, making sure it delivers what they need, when they need it.”

To learn more about the Seattle Fire Department, visit seattle.gov/fire.

To see a simulation of the Seattle Fire Department using FirstNet for emergency response, watch this video. And to learn more about FirstNet, go to FirstNet.com. 

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