FirstNet Provides Public Safety Connectivity Solutions at the 2022 World Athletics Championships

AT&T Blog Team
July 27, 2022
Public Safety

FirstNet Provides Public Safety Connectivity Solutions at the 2022 World Athletics Championships

This July, the United States played host to the World Athletics Championships for the first time. Welcoming tens of thousands of fans to our country’s home of track and field, Eugene, Oregon, the world’s best athletes competed for 49 gold medals, bringing the international community together to celebrate sportsmanship, human achievement and diversity.

With 2,000 athletes from nearly 200 countries, the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field held the competition over the course of ten days. As the athletes ran, jumped and threw their way to the top of the leaderboard, the University of Oregon Police Department raced around the clock to keep the athletes and spectators safe—and FirstNet®, Built with AT&T was running alongside them.

Knowing the influx of people to the field would require more security, the University of Oregon Police Department worked with security consulting firms, Frontline Equipment and Consulting and Pono Security, as well as other law enforcement partner agencies to provide further public safety personnel and strategy at the event. The FirstNet team stepped in to help ensure that the different teams working with the police stayed connected to each other and the department in case of emergency.

“FirstNet provides a reliable and stable platform that enabled public safety personnel to stay connected,” said UOPD Chief Jason Wade. “For a prominent event like the World Athletics Championships, a tool that ensures officers stay connected, regardless of their location, and that heightens their situational awareness, is critical for maintaining a safe environment.”

Providing the security personnel with new SD7 devices, RSM mics and privacy headsets from Siyata, FirstNet was able to temporarily outfit the teams with the latest technology to create a better flow of communications throughout agencies. By enabling first responders with a simple easy-to-use, purpose-built device, the SD7 brings push-to-talk to the 21st Century and operates over the FirstNet network to provide consistent and reliable connectivity across the nation.

Dispatch consoles were integrated with the command center and the local PSAP and Cradlepoint devices were also onsite to provide Wi-Fi. To ensure network connectivity, the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (ODHS OREM) deployed their Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) to the event for back up. Agency-owned Cells on Wheels, CRDs are linked to FirstNet via satellite and can be set up by a single person in a matter of minutes. They do not rely on commercial power availability, which make them ideal for use during emergencies or large, planned events like the Championship. To help ensure connection in case of emergency, the Oregon DHS’s CRD was stationed on standby at the command center.

“ODHS OREM was proud to support the World Athletics Championships,” said Edwin Flick, Director of ORHS OREM.  “Having reliable communications available to coordinate a large-scale mass care response is central to our strategy to protect Oregonians.”

As public safety’s partner, FirstNet is the only network built with and for America’s first responders. Fully equipped with always-on priority and preemption across the FirstNet network that protects them from commercial congestion, first responders utilize high-quality Band 14 spectrum blanketing the area—giving them the dedicated connectivity they require when they need it most.

“We were honored to work alongside The University of Oregon Police Department to find a customized solution for such an exciting international event,” said Amir Johnson, Director, AT&T-Oregon. “We want to give first responders across the country the cutting-edge tools they need to safely respond to planned events like the Championships. From providing devices to the onsite security teams to offering CRD devices for purchase, FirstNet delivers solutions that help first responders keep those they serve out of harm’s way.”

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