FirstNet allows EMS providers to securely
send large amounts of data, including pictures and videos, ultrasound images and CT
scans across a robust and reliable network.
Because only a physician can diagnose, these
tools enable providers to bring the physician
to the patient—which means patients may be
able to get what they need at a tremendous
cost savings. If we know that a patient who has
fallen has a bruised arm rather than a broken
one, her care ends on site rather than many
hours later in an ED far from home.
These types of tools, along with the ability
to securely send and receive patient records and
files, can also assist in the delivery of community paramedicine, allowing us to bring quality
care to patients in their homes to help manage
There are several powerful applications and
tools on the market now, but commercial networks, with their congestion and limited availability in certain locations, hinder an EMS
provider’s ability to make full use of those
applications and tools.
FirstNet not only provides the network to
run those tools without a lost signal or slow
transmission, it also opens up the public safety
market to technology firms and application
developers who want to drive innovation and
make new tools more affordable and accessi-
ble to public safety personnel.
It’s important to note that FirstNet is a
nationwide network built on open standards,
rather than the patchwork of systems most
public safety customers rely on now. That fact
alone has drawn in more players to the public
safety arena. FirstNet is also working hard to
foster relationships with developers, launching its App Developer Program and a public
safety app store.
FirstNet has also designed and built a state-of-the-art lab in Boulder, Colo., to test applications, devices and tools. We’re working with
partners at the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) and the Public Safety
Communications Research Division (PSCR)
to bring the brightest minds in technology to
address public safety’s most complex needs,
such as location-based services and mission
critical voice-over LTE.
PREPARING FOR FIRSTNET
In states and territories that have opted in
to FirstNet, the service is available now to
individual and agency subscribers. Visit www.
FirstNet.com for more information on cov-
erage and pricing.
AT&T is working hard to expand the network to meet public safety’s needs and FirstNet
is here as public safety’s advocate, providing
oversight and ensuring AT&T meets promised goals and targets.
FirstNet’s website has more information on
planning for and adopting FirstNet at www.
It’s been exciting to watch this network
go from an innovative idea to a useable tool,
and I can’t wait to see all the ways it makes
the lifesaving work of EMS providers easier
and more effective. JEMS
Brent Williams, EMT-P, is the senior EMS advisor for FirstNet. Prior to joining FirstNet, Brent spent 11 years working as
a police officer/paramedic for Ingham County (Mich.) Sheriff
Department and then as an EMS radio communications consultant for the EMS and trauma systems section of Michigan’s
Department of Health and Human Services. He can be reached
Learn more from Brent Williams at the
EMS Today Conference, Feb. 21–23, in
Charlotte, N.C. EMS Today.com