Portsmouth Police, Fire Departments Transform First Responder Communications with FirstNet


Staff Report



Portsmouth’s Police and Fire departments are connecting their first responders to FirstNet – a new communications platform just for public safety.

With the tech advancement, the departments can equip officers and firefighters 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 the City of Portsmouth.

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 posed on past public safety responses.

The Portsmouth Police and Fire Departments are using FirstNet on modems and department-issued smartphones.

“With FirstNet, our officers can respond more efficiently and effectively,” said Acting Portsmouth Police Chief Debra Brewer. “From crisis situations like a standoff with an armed suspect to supporting citizen safety during large events, we are now able to better serve the Portsmouth community.”

“FirstNet helps us stay connected to the critical information we need,” said Portsmouth Fire Chief William V. Raison.

The local fire and police departments joined FirstNet to provide our first responders with reliable, modern communications tools needed to perform at their best, including:

· One, nationwide communications platform that allows us to efficiently and effectively coordinate emergency responses across agencies and jurisdictions.

· Always-on priority and preemption to give us reliable access to the connection we need – even when the network is congested.

· A separate, dedicated and highly secure network core purpose-built for public safety’s sensitive communications.

· Planned increases in coverage and capacity, enabling us to better respond to emergencies in all areas of Portsmouth – and across the state.

· Innovative tools – like relevant applications and connected devices – to give us more actionable information for heightened situational awareness.

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

“We’re honored that these public safety agencies have chosen FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities,” said AT&T Great Lakes States and Ohio President Adam Grzybicki. “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 Portsmouth 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 Portsmouth Police and Fire and all of Ohio’s public safety community with FirstNet, making sure it delivers what they need when they need it.”

To learn more about Portsmouth Police and Fire, visit https://portsmouthoh.org/.

To learn more about FirstNet, go to FirstNet.com. To learn more about subscribing to FirstNet, contact at April Burroughs 304-550-8489 or april.g.burroughs@att.com. Individual first responders can also subscribe to FirstNet at a local AT&T store.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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Staff Report