Town of Hartford Receives Update on FirstNet
How will FirstNet potentially impact operations for first responders in the Town of Hartford? The Vermont PSBC team briefed town administrators and fire service staff on FirstNet on July 13. Hartford police, fire services and EMS personnel benefit from already having a strong broadband signal in their area. A reliable signal--coupled with targeted applications and grant-funded equipment--has enabled first responders to use broadband to bolster services.
The Hartford Fire Department serves approximately 10,000 people within its assistance area. Interim Fire Chief Scott Cooney said the department has equipped their emergency response vehicles with rugged laptops and cell phones. The equipment allows them to utilize computer-aided dispatch modules from Spillman and a digital messaging system called Active911. He is interested in the new technology FirstNet will be introducing.
For Fire Captain Shawn Hannux the technology enhances their mutual aid response.
Captain Shawn Hannux said he is able to monitor calls into Lebanon, New Hampshire and be quickly "out the door" to assist, even before Hartford FD receives a call for assistance. Lt. Norman Mariotti said even just having cell phones available can be a big help. He said during the response to Tropical Storm Irene, fire personnel used their personal cell phones as another means of keeping the communication channels open.
Hartford Police Chief Phil Kasten said his force uses rugged laptops in their patrol cars. In the future, he would like to purchase tablets for his investigative team because the tablets are lighter than the computers and easier to use in the field.
The Vermont PSBC team appreciates the interest shown by the Town of Hartford and the time they spent to learn more about FirstNet.
Lieutenant Norman Mariotti said having reliable cell phone coverage in an emergency is very helpful.