Gov. Jim Douglas speaks at Fall 2015 FirstNet SPOC Meeting
Pictured: Vermont SPOC Terry LaValley, PM Tess Gauthier, and former Governor Jim Douglas
FirstNet Board Member and former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas addressed the attendees of the FirstNet Fall 2015 SPOC Meeting in Westminster, CO on October 7. He offered encouragement for states and territories around the nation to reach out to their Governors and Chiefs of staffs to discuss the critical role of Chief Executives in the national public safety broadband network. Governor Douglas reminded attendees that the local public safety communities around the nation fought for this network, and the importance of working together.
Governor Douglas highlighted the recent Amtrak derailment in Northfield, Vermont, the role and importance of the NPSBN in rural areas, and the critical need for connectivity for first responders in rural areas. A University of Vermont team deployed Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to provide near real-time operational information to first responders in Northfield on 5-October. The team leader said "Within 60 minutes of us arriving on site we had transferred a KML file to the incident commanders that contained over 280 photos of the derailment site and the surrounding area, each tied to a location on the ground." This is an example of the variety of digital resources that will be delivered directly to mobile handsets of first responders anywhere once FirstNet implementation is complete.