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First Responder Network: “The Time is Now,” says Fairfax Fire Chief

The IAFC has been a fierce supporter of FirstNet since the beginning. When built, it will be the first nationwide public safety broadband network to provide first responders the advanced communication and collaboration technologies they need to help them do their jobs safely and effectively.

Currently, the governors of states and territories are considering whether to opt in to the national network or build their own network. In July, Virginia -- where the IAFC is headquartered -- proudly became the first state to opt-in.

Mike Worrell,  FirstNet senior fire services advisor, says in anticipation of FirstNet’s arrival in Virginia, officials from Fairfax County, Virginia (a suburb of Washington, D.C.) have been working closely with public safety agencies to ensure the network will be accessible to the county’s first responders as soon as possible. 

They have produced a short video about what's going on in Fairfax and why they believe the time is now for a first responder network.

Worrell explains:

In this video presentation, hear from Fairfax Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers about his agency’s adoption of the AT&T FirstNet solution.  “If you want to improve your communications…enhance your ability to communicate on a daily basis on incidents, the time is now,” Chief Bowers says of FirstNet.  In addition, Michael Newburn, Communications Technology Manager with the Fairfax County Department of Information Technology, talks about how easy it is to sign up and turn on FirstNet services.

View the video:

Worrell reports that excitement for the FirstNet Network continues to grow across the country. So far, 35 states and U.S. territories have joined the network. 

The International Association of Fire Chiefs has led the way in advocating for a dedicated public safety network.  To learn more about the possibilities of FirstNet coming to your community, please contact the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) within your state or territory, or feel free to reach out to me at mike.worrell@firstnet.gov

IAFC resources regarding FirstNet are available here.

Jim Philipps is the IAFC's assistant director of Strategic Communications.




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