For the most part, the processes, procedures and functionality of our public safety systems keep pace with requirements. Commonplace “tools” such as fire call boxes, e911 systems and the radios used by emergency first responders have evolved out of necessity and have been fueled by innovation.
Police, fire and (EMS emergency medical services) personnel must communicate and coordinate efforts when they arrive on the scene of an emergency. The general public also must be able to communicate. After all, if you or I can’t be notified about an incident or call for help, first responders won’t know to help us.
The importance of in-building wireless communications for public safety cannot be overstated. An estimated 80 percent of all wireless calls originate or terminate inside buildings. Similarly, a majority of emergency incidents occur indoors.
Creating safer in-building environments for occupants and first responders is paramount. Call it the Public Safety Imperative.
To be sure, The Imperative is shared by the public safety, commercial wireless and venue owner ecosystems.
To meet the challenges of The Imperative, the stakeholders must implement fire and building codes and standards for indoor public safety communications; develop and innovate a toolkit of robust wireless communication technology and networks; and identify business models to overcome the burdens of complying with an “unfunded mandate.”
FirstNet is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new public safety broadband network (PSBN). But it’s scope is primarily focused on achieving outdoor communications, not indoor. It is vital that indoors does not get left behind.
We took the first step to achieving this vision several years ago to as a founding member of the Safer Buildings Coalition, an independent, non-profit organization focused on advancing policies and ideas that lead to more large and medium sized buildings being served with commercial and public safety wireless coverage. (Make a difference by becoming a member: info(at)saferbuildings.org or 888.600.1011)
Next week at APCO 2015 in Washington, D.C., we’re launching – in collaboration with Hutton Communications (read our partnership announcement from APCO 2014 here) – the inaugural publication of THE IMPERATIVE, an eBook in which we consulted with many of the industry’s leading experts and proponents in public safety communications to tap into their deep knowledge and experience on the topics of public safety codes, first responder operations, wireless technology, and telecommunications networks.
Together, SOLiD and Hutton personnel will showcase in-building solutions including the SOLiD quad-band public safety distributed antenna system (DAS) with support for first responder and essential two-way radio frequencies including 700/800,150/450 MHz.
And if you’re an early riser, plan to attend the “Making Buildings Safer Through Wireless Technology” session on Sunday, August 16 at 9:30 AM hosted by Safer Buildings Coalition executive director Chief Alan Perdue (ret.) and moderated by my friend Donny Jackson, editor of Urgent Communications.
Thanks for reading.
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