Kākou. While the literal translation is simply “us,” the kaona (or hidden meaning) underpins that we are in this together.
It is also a principle embodied by the public safety community – from the California governor deploying the state’s Urban Search & Rescue Task Force to the federal agencies coordinating with state and local departments to provide mutual aid in Maui and other parts of the state.
As first responders work to contain the wildfires and help their community, we are honored to be by their side, delivering FirstNet® connectivity and an unparalleled level of support for their response and recovery efforts.
(FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue efforts are underway in Maui, Hawaii. Hear from Washington Task Force One search staff to learn how and how the canine search teams operate. Courtesy of FEMA and YouTube. Posted on Aug 16, 2023.)
Dedicated FirstNet Assets in Hawai‘i
As part of public safety’s dedicated FirstNet fleet, we have deployable network assets stationed year-round in Hawai‘i. These assets are available 24/7 – for no additional charge – at the request of public safety agencies on FirstNet.
No other carrier has portable cell sites dedicated solely and exclusively to public safety. And having 1 of these assets housed on Maui has been essential to expediently restoring first responders’ critical communications where they need it most.
Currently, a portable FirstNet cell site provides first responders in Lahaina with dedicated connectivity on Band 14 (high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet).
Additionally, the FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG) has liaisons working with officials to safely deploy additional network assets and expedite network restoration in areas affected by the wildfires.
FirstNet ROG is led by a team of former first responders who have an intimate understanding of public safety’s mission. One of these leaders is our FirstNet ROG Section Chief for FEMA Region 9.
He’s on the ground now in Maui to provide hands-on support and collaborate with other team members from the AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team.
Together, we’re working to deploy additional assets such as:
A new miniCRD™ (Compact Rapid Deployable) that is comprised of 2 ultra-portable ruggedized cases to provide coverage up to ½ mile without relying on commercial power availability
Satellite solutions to provide Wi-Fi or cell service
In-building solutions for indoor connectivity
Portable generators for our cell sites affected by commercial power outages
Backhaul equipment to restore macro service
Dedicated FirstNet COWs (Cell on Wheels) from neighboring islands, as well as a Flying COW® (or Cell on Wings)
A FirstNet Emergency Response Kit that equips public safety with a cache of 20+ FirstNet Ready® devices in a protective case to simultaneously recharge and immediately disperse to responders in the field
Furthering Public Safety’s Command & Control
FirstNet, Built with AT&T is America’s public safety network. It is specifically designed with and for first responders based on their mission-centric needs – it is not a commercial network.
And when public safety asked for greater network agility, we delivered the FirstNet Compact Rapid Deployable. This gives agencies the ability to own their own CRDs and provide cell service like the FirstNet fleet.
But a CRD can be deployed by a single person within a matter of minutes to provide up to 2 miles of dedicated public safety coverage.
(Learn more about FirstNet Compact Rapid Deployables (also known as CRDs), standalone deployable cell towers. These devices provide cellular and internet connectivity in areas where service is limited or unavailable. CRDs are designed to be owned, managed, and deployed by public safety agencies whenever and wherever they need it. These devices can help agencies respond to various incidents, including planned events, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Courtesy of First Responder Network Authority and YouTube.)
In addition to the FirstNet fleet, Hawai‘i agencies are now also turning to their own CRDs and miniCRDs to deploy FirstNet connectivity to areas where the wildfire has impacted macro service.
This will help improve their emergency operations, making them nimbler and providing their first responders with command and control to have coverage when and where they immediately need it.
FirstNet is also the only network that provides first responders with always-on priority and preemption. That means first responders, in the midst of battling the wildfires, don’t have to dial special codes or take extra measures to ensure their mission-critical communications get through.
Plus, it provides them with the confidence their information is protected from any potential commercial network congestion on cell sites across all of Hawai‘i. And since FirstNet does not “throttle” or slow down public safety’s communications, first responders can stay mission ready throughout their operations.
Communication is critical to first responders and the communities they serve. But at the core of the network is people. And we recognize the mental, emotional, and physical toll first responders have experienced in the past week.
That’s why “ROG the Dog” is en route to Hawai‘i to provide animal-assisted therapy and further support the health and well-being of those on the frontline. Wellness is critical to a first responder’s ability to perform.
And interacting with animals can improve coping and recovery, enhance morale, decrease stress, and reduce the effects of PTSD and emotional distress. These individuals run toward danger to help protect our families, friends, and loved ones.
So, it’s essential we take care of those who put their lives on the line and help them be at their best, day in and day out.
(The FirstNet Health & Wellness Coalition has introduced ROG the Dog assisted therapy animal program to support public safety on the front lines. Courtesy of FirstNet, Built with AT&T and YouTube.)
From the fierce winds, brought on by Hurricane Dora, that fueled scorching fires on parts of the Big Island, to the catastrophic wildfires on Maui that have, so far, taken the lives of dozens and destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings – our hearts are with the entire Hawai‘i community.
But throughout it all, first responders have been in the field to contain the flames and help those in need.
Where public safety goes, we go. It is our honor and our commitment as public safety’s partner. And we’ll continue to be there for America’s first responders – today and for decades to come. After all, kākou.
You can also help the people affected recover by texting HAWAII to 90999 for a one-time $10 donation to the American Red Cross. 100% of the funds will go directly to immediate emergency assistance and long-term community rebuilding efforts.
And stay up to speed on our Hawai‘i wildfire response and other ways to support those affected here.
(FEMA staff member Norma Su’a Owens and native of Hawaii urges her community to apply for disaster assistance. Courtesy of FEMA and YouTube. Posted on Aug 15, 2023.)
About the Author
Jim Bugel, President of FirstNet Program at AT&T oversees the FirstNet and NG911 teams at AT&T and all areas of the program, including implementation, operations, sales, development, strategy, and public safety policy.
With over 30 years of experience in the wireless and wired telecommunications industry, Bugelhas an extensive background in public safety, national security, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness.
He also established and expanded the FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG) that manages the nationwide fleet of FirstNet network deployable assets, providing first responder agencies with FirstNet connectivity – whenever and wherever they need it to support public safety’s response to wildfires, hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic, search and rescues, and other emergency and planned events. Previously,
Bugelwas AT&T’s principal public safety and national security representative to the White House, Department of Defense, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He is a Radio Club of America Fellow and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and resides in McLean, Virginia.
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now in its Eighth Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
FAST is a school-age training initiative offered in multiple modalities, designed to enhance a bystander’s ability to take decisive, lifesaving action to assist victims with traumatic injuries.
FAST training provides the knowledge necessary to stabilize the injured and control severe bleeding in the minutes until first responders arrive on scene.
(The FAST education program is based on funding provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH). The FAST course and digital materials, developed by the American Red Cross in collaboration with NCDMPH, will be offered at no charge to high school students under 19, thanks to the S&T grant. Courtesy of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and YouTube.)
The continually evolving ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program will highlight the trail of Accomplished Women in Leadership in 2023 and the Significance and Positive Impact of Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in our Next Generation of Government and Industry Leaders. Because #MentorshipMatters.
So be on the lookout for exciting upcoming announcements of Book Signing Opportunities and Special Guest Attendees at the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon on Thursday, November 16, 2023 in New York City at ISC East!
(See some highlights of the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Ceremony and Banquet Luncheon in New York City during ISC East at the Javits Center. Courtesy of AST and YouTube.)
These challenges have become a national priority with an influx of investments in innovative new technologies and systems.
Enter American Security Today, the #1 publication and media platform in the Government Security and Homeland Security fields, with a circulation of over 75,000 readers and many tens of thousands more who visit our AST website at www.americansecuritytoday.com each month.
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The 2022 exclusive sold-out ‘ASTORS’ luncheon featured representatives of law enforcement, public safety, and industry leaders who came together to honor the selfless service of those who stand on the front lines and those who stand beside them – providing the capabilities and technologies to create a safer world for generations to come.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which came out in force to discuss comprehensive collaborations between private and public sectors that have led to the development of intelligence and technologies which serve to protect our nation.
The resounding theme of the DEAC’s remarks was her pride in the women and men of the CBP and their families who support them.
AST was also joined by Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton, who spoke about his love for the City of New York, the Profession of law enforcement to which he has dedicated his life, and for which he continues to drive thought leadership and innovation.
FDNY Chief Joseph Jardin honored the men and women of the FDNY, not only those who currently serve but all of those who have selflessly served, with special recognition of those lost on 9/11.
Chief Jardin spoke about the continuing health battle of many following 9/11 with cancer and respiratory disease, yet now knowing the full consequences, would not have made a different decision to respond.
As Chief Jardin noted, mission-driven service is the lifeblood of every firefighter, volunteer, and sworn member, and has been so throughout the history of the Fire Service.
The prestigious Annual ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program highlights the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
In 2022 over 240 distinguished guests representing Federal, State, and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms gathered from across North America, Europe, and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields.
Each year, to keep our communities safe and secure, security dealers, installers, integrators, and consultants, along with corporate, government, and law enforcement/first responder practitioners, convene in New York City to network, learn and evaluate the latest technologies and solutions from premier exhibiting brands at ISC East, and the ASIS NYC Expo.
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old-school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
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AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
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AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
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From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware, and Networking Security – to name a few), the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
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For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2023 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
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