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Press Release -- March 17th, 2020
Source: AT&T
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Public Safety’s Network Supports COVID-19 Emergency Response

On the Front Lines: Public Safety’s Network Supports COVID-19 Emergency Response from Coast to Coast

For over a month, police, fire, EMS, public health, emergency management and military personnel have been working around the clock to assess and mitigate the COVID-19 spread nationwide. And that means having the connectivity they need to efficiently and effectively coordinate and communicate their emergency response. As public safety’s partner – not simply a vendor or commercial network provider – FirstNet is proud to be by their side, helping to address public safety’s needs and deliver for the men and women our communities are counting on most.

  • Emergency Operations Centers: As public safety’s network, FirstNet liaisons at AT&T are embedded with state and federal emergency operations centers (EOC). This strengthens public safety’s command and control of their network and helps ensure they have the mobile connectivity and devices they need to effectively respond to COVID-19.
  • FirstNet Fleet: All at no additional charge, public safety agencies on FirstNet have access to a dedicated fleet of 76 deployable cell sites. The deployment of these assets is led by the FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG), a team of former first responders who manage the program in alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and FEMA National Response Framework (NRF).

"COVID-19 is an unprecedented event for the country – and in times of emergency, communication is critical," said Tim Ketchie, Communications Unit Leader, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "As we began mobilizing various quarantine locations across California, our commercial network devices were unable to handle the heavy data transmission needed to adequately communicate. We turned to FirstNet, and the quick action and network performance allowed us to support the hundreds of public safety personnel actively engaged in response efforts. It's been a game changer."

So far, we’ve deployed assets, optimized the network or provided FirstNet Ready™ devices to support quarantine zones, airports, EOCs and other public safety centers in areas such as:

  • Port of Oakland, California
  • Riverside, California
  • San Diego, California
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fulton County, Georgia
  • Marietta, Georgia
  • Rutledge, Georgia
  • Nassau County, New York
  • San Antonio, Texas

FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. As men and women across the country stand on the front lines to support our nation’s response to COVID-19, they can have confidence knowing that with FirstNet they’ll have the unthrottled connectivity and priority communications they need to respond during this public health emergency. It’s this type of unparalleled emergency support that distinguishes FirstNet, public safety’s network, from best-effort commercial wireless networks built for consumer use.

Serving public safety is our mission. It’s our obligation and honor to earn public safety’s trust day in and day out. And that only happens by delivering on the bipartisan vision of Congress and the first responder community, and effectively serving as public safety’s true communications network partner.

For FirstNet subscribers seeking to request FirstNet support, call 1-800-574-7000. And to learn more about FirstNet, go to www.firstnet.com.

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