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Transitioning to FirstNet: Applications

Updated: May 23, 2019

By Tom Goodwin

The FirstNet public safety network is the first nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. At the time of this writing, FirstNet is undergoing initial rollouts throughout the US. Included in its launch are specialized FirstNet applications that cover a wide range of mobile public safety communications devices. These applications are designed to provide first responders with more information and improved productivity while performing their duties.

FirstNet Application Catalog

Currently FirstNet is developing a FirstNet App Catalog that will include mobile apps and solutions from multiple software providers. Some of the categories are:

Law Enforcement Apps

  • Automatic Vehicle locations

  • Records management systems / written reporting

  • Video Surveillance

  • Body cameras

  • Finger print scanners

  • Voice communications

Fire & EMS Apps

  • Vehicle locations

  • Electronic health records

  • Patient bio information

  • Situational information

  • Voice communications

These new applications are either enhancements of existing capabilities or new capabilities that will improve first responder operations. This increase in mobile communications will in turn produce a higher volume of data with more useful information. Moreover, the FirstNet broadband network will ensure that these data will be received much faster than before. With the larger, faster data stream comes the high probability of a data “fire hose” event, which can create information overload.

Preventing Information Overload

In 2012 the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was created from a new law as an independent authority within NTIA to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety. The law stipulated that the FirstNet communications network was to be based on commercial standards for LTE (Long Term Evolution) service. LTE is the evolution of a proven technology, which is now in its fourth generation.

Due to the danger of too much data it is imperative to implement functions that can organize, filter, store and resend information transmitting through the network. Artificial Intelligence (AI) engines can be set up to filter specific information to right users. It can also help determine where information ultimately needs to be stored. For example, communications data with 911 emergency dispatch centers is captured and stored; AI can be configured to handle large quantities of data and help direct where it will go. The application can filter necessary and unnecessary information and attach associated metadata to indicate how /when the data were collected. The metadata can then be used for evidentiary purposes in future if needed.

Ensuring that dispatchers receive only the relevant information is paramount. First responders as well dispatchers can experience job stress, and a data deluge would only add to it. Delivering only the right information quickly is the goal, and the technology behind it must function correctly to provide it.

Preparing for the FirstNet broadband network with its new applications and large streams of data requires that 911 organizations must examine and prepare their current network and information collection methods as well as recording and storage functionality.

HigherGround’s interaction recording and storage solution is now ready for FirstNet and the changes it brings.

Click here to learn more or about HigherGround’s capabilities or contact us

For questions about capabilities and integration of call recording and other data capture for your PSAP, email us at info@higherground.com.

If you would like to comment on this blog, you can express your thoughts and opinions below.

About the Author - Tom Goodwin is the Vice President of Marketing at HigherGround. His background in telecommunications and data networking has been augmented with work in data analytics and automated reporting prior to joining HigherGround. Click here for more information on Tom and the rest of the HigherGround team!​

HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.

#callrecordingsystem #missioncriticalcommunications #callrecordingsoftware #informationstorage #technologysolutions #qualityaudit

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