Utah Communications Authority (UCA) and FirstNet Authority held a FirstNet in Utah Apps Forum in Southern Utah on October 16th. The event was hosted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Gordy Coles, UCA Interoperability Division Director, welcomed attendees to the Forum. Paul Patrick, FirstNet Board Member and Division Director of Family Health and Preparedness for the Utah Department of Health, led off the session with a brief history of FirstNet. Tracey Murdock, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, and Shae Cook, AT&T FirstNet Solutions Consultant, described FirstNet’s strategic roadmap elements and latest deployment progress for the region.
Bill Schrier, FirstNet Authority Products and Solutions Senior Advisor, led a panel discussion with local public safety representatives who talked about the mobile apps their agencies use and their wish lists for future applications. Panelists were Alan Alldredge, Chief Deputy for Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Kory Klotz, Lieutenant for Washington City Police Department, and Daniel Fagergren, Chief Ranger at Zion National Park. They described the daily challenges they face, ranging from spotty rural coverage to search and rescue efforts in deep slot canyons.
Bill led an online polling exercise where attendees used their smart phones to share what devices and apps they use. He explained that FirstNet Authority uses this information to inform the vendor community of public safety needs and to prioritize network reinvestment. The exercise summary is here. Bill then presented the results of last year’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Nationwide First Responder Survey. Attendees could compare the apps they use with those used by others in Utah as well as across the nation for fire, law enforcement, 9-1-1/dispatch, and EMS.
Word chart of the mobile apps used by public safety in Southern Utah