Chantilly, Virginia - IAFC President and Chairman of the Board, Chief Gary Ludwig, today submitted a written statement to the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In his statement, Ludwig said communications are an integral part of emergency response and new technologies hold tremendous potential for public safety.
"Data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, whether coming from a smartwatch, drone, or device on a firefighter’s gear, will enable us to respond smarter, faster, and more safely," Ludwig said. "We have experienced instances of smart watches detecting falls and contacting 911. Sensors on drones help us detect hot spots, enabling us to predict the path of a wildland fire."
Ludwig said the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is conducting important work to enable true priority and preemption for public safety wireless communications through the buildout of a national broadband network.
"This buildout is anticipated to be completed between 2022 and 2023 and will ensure secure and reliable network access on scene," he said. "Greater network reliability and the arrival of 5G will support telehealth initiatives, connecting EMS patients and rural communities to doctors faster. In almost every arena of emergency response, connectivity and data offer exciting opportunities to improve the safety of citizens and first responders."
Ludwig's statement also called for Congressional action on the T-Band, suggesting that it is imperative to protecting America’s emergency preparedness.
"We urge the Committee to act by marking up H.R. 451, the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act, co-sponsored by Representatives Eliot Engel (D, NY-16) and Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1)."
The September 27 hearing was entitled, "Legislating to Secure America's Wireless Future," and chaired by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA).
Read Chief Ludwig's full written statement (PDF).
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more