EMS District 5 Meeting in St. Johnsbury
Eight representatives of EMS organizations within EMS District 5 attended the monthly district meeting on September 14. District 5 covers the upper Connecticut River Valley, including EMS organizations based in St. Johnsbury, Concord, Danville, Lyndon, Newbury, Peacham, and Waterford. Bruce Westcott -- FirstNet outreach coordinator for the Northeast Kingdom -- provided an informational handout, and made a brief presentation covering the FirstNet business plan, implementation schedule, technical details, and governance -- both on the national level, and in Vermont.
There was some discussion of how different regions of Vermont will be prioritized for investment and attention in building out the communications network envisioned by FirstNet. One of the members commented that, although he could understand the need to make investments in areas that have the bulk of our population, he hopes that rural and underpopulated regions that have no communication coverage will not be disadvantaged. Bruce highlighted that in considering and designating the priority areas for FirstNet buildout, the Broadband Commission will be using data that helps them to balance many factors including population density and existing broadband coverage (or lack of it.)