Hopkins County Goes Back to School with FirstNet

AT&T Blog Team
September 28, 2022
Public Safety


Hopkins County Goes Back to School with FirstNet

Hopkins County Schools in Kentucky is making the daily commute to school safer for students throughout the district with FirstNet®, Built with AT&T.

Back to school season is in full swing. As students and teachers adapt to their new daily routines, administrators in the district are improving the ways their employees communicate with public safety—including with the daily bus routes to school.

Whether it is bad weather, bad traffic or bad actors, bus drivers can face potential safety concerns that could impact a student’s ability to be on time and learn. Dealing with these uncertain conditions, drivers need to know not only what the road will be like ahead of them, but also what concerns are at their destination.

Communication between the drivers and the public safety community is essential to making sure students are accounted for and transported safely throughout the county. Hopkins County Schools found an innovative solution to this issue with FirstNet, the only network built with and for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community.

“Safety is our top priority.  Our new bus communication system from FirstNet will give our schools more layers of security, while also increasing the efficiency of transporting our students,” said Amy Smith, Superintendent of Hopkins County Schools. “In addition to our radio piece, we have collaborated with AT&T to create a solution for our bus fleet using tablets, which will allow us to implement initiatives like routing software and cameras.  Since the tablets have a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, we’ll be able to connect devices to provide near real-time monitoring and response.”

Each school bus in the district received an upgraded communications system to replace older radios. Using devices equipped with FirstNet Push-to-Talk, bus drivers will now be able to communicate with teachers, parents, administrators and first responders within seconds—helping to ensure that issues are resolved more quickly, and drivers can communicate better in areas with weaker radio signals.

With this technological advancement, transportation management can address the day-to-day needs of the bus drivers by using GPS to locate groups of students in transit and re-routing buses due to bad weather and unsafe conditions. Management can also communicate securely over the network in near real-time with bus drivers one-on-one or in a group to understand additional awareness of status and availability.

“We are proud to work alongside Hopkins County Schools to provide innovative technological solutions to keep our kids safe,” said Carlos E. Sanchez, President AT&T-Kentucky. “It’s our mission to give the public safety community cutting-edge tools they need to keep their communities connected. With FirstNet, Hopkins County Schools is enhancing emergency communication safety measures so parents, students and teachers feel safer and can focus on education.”

As public safety’s partner, FirstNet is providing America’s first responders with always-on priority and preemption across the FirstNet network that protects them from commercial congestion. First responders utilize high-quality Band 14 spectrum, spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet —giving them the dedicated connectivity they require when they need it most.

To learn more about FirstNet, check out FirstNet.com.

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.