EMS District 8 Meeting in Randolph
Twelve representatives of EMS organizations within EMS District 8 (Orange County) attended. Most seemed familiar with FirstNet, and about half had already completed our survey. There was a brief discussion of the recent consolidation of E-911 dispatch centers – those in Rutland and Derby were closed down effective September 1. One attendee commented that there were no problems evident, though he suggested that the consolidation may have resulted in the loss of some experience dispatchers.
One attendee expressed frustration in current conflicts in radio frequencies with Canadian entities -- an issue which FirstNet hopes to address. For the last five years Canada has been working to establish a National Public Safety Broadband Network, and in April Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated in the budget that $3million would be allocated for Canada to take initial steps to establish a governance body to oversee this. Canada has already allocated 10 megahertz (MHz) of the highly valued 700 MHz broadband spectrum for public safety communications and have recently decided to allocate another 10 MHz of the 700 MHz spectrum to enable the creation of a Public Safety Broadband Network, a high-speed mobile network dedicated to emergency management. The technical aspects of this mirror the US’s spectrum.