The Boise Fire Department is taking steps to help ensure we have effective communication tools for everyday situations, big events or emergencies. Our department recently obtained equipment connecting us to FirstNet, a nationwide, high-speed broadband communication platform purpose-built specifically for first responders and the extended public safety community.
“As a regional response agency and knowing that we are the most remote city of our size, it’s important for our department to have reliable and modern communication tools,” said Special Operations, Division Chief Paul Roberts. “The rural landscape around Boise oftentimes does not have the most reliable cell phone or radio coverage. From wildfires to isolated accidents, this technology offers another form of connectivity to our first responders on a scene.”
We recently acquired a Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) from FirstNet to act as a deployable network asset that will provide coverage for first responders anywhere at any time. CRDs link to FirstNet via satellite and do not rely on commercial power availability, making them ideal for use during emergencies in rural and remote areas, as well as areas where communications may be temporarily unavailable. The platform also allows for better communication with other agencies and jurisdictions on a separate, dedicated and highly secure network.
“This is technology that will keep our first responders connected when they are most vulnerable,” said Boise Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer. “This access gives our firefighters and specialty response teams the peace of mind and flexibility needed to have coverage on the go, when and where we need it.”
As fire season continues in the state, these agency-owned Cells on Wheels (COW) can be deployed by a single person within a matter of minutes. This on-the-go coverage will give public safety officials dedicated Band 14 connectivity wherever it is needed.
FirstNet, built with AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), was designed with and for public safety.
FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.