How can 5G help serve First Responders?

John Emra
June 2, 2021
Broadband Access and Affordability, Innovation and Technology, Public Safety

How can 5G help serve First Responders?

The heroes who keep us safe and healthy know that a situation can instantly change – it’s why fast, reliable connectivity is crucial for firefighters, doctors, nurses, EMTs, police officers and all those dedicated to public safety and health. When it comes to revolutionizing these industries, 5G will begin to unlock a whole new world for public safety.

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Public Safety

5G has the potential to power technologies to help make everyone safer. How?

Imagine if firemen could see the layout of the building in their helmets to find those in need much faster;
New devices like gunshot detectors and search and rescue drones could give first responders new tools to keep themselves and their communities safe;
A SWAT team or a fire department could enable augmented reality to help first responders navigate a burning building or see around corners;
all-att-icons-5g-fireman-core-2021-05-18.png The leading cause of death on the job among firefighters is cardiac arrest. A sensor that identifies when a firefighter’s heart rate is abnormal could enable a commander to pull them out from a fire before a heart attack occurs;
all-att-icons-5g-fireman-core-2021-05-18.png 5G flood sensors could possibly provide motorists with route guidance, helping to reduce death during flooding and to choose routes that do not pass through flooded areas.
FirstNet and 5G

FirstNet helps public safety personnel respond efficiently with fewer barriers and connect to the critical information they need when they need it. While 5G will eventually bring a combination of benefits like low latency and high speeds to support all kinds of users, it’s essential to approach 5G in a different way for first responders. That’s why, with FirstNet, we’re taking the right steps for public safety in a way that meets their unique mission needs. We have upgraded the FirstNet core, setting the stage for reliable 5G.

As a result of these enhancements, public safety is gaining access to 5G+ on FirstNet.1 Here in Connecticut, FirstNet’s presence continues to grow, with recent purpose-built cell sites launched in Goshen and Easton.

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The Future of Healthcare

How can 5G help transform public health? Imagine being able to deploy cameras to the front gate of a stadium and screen attendees’ temperature to potentially help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Or using 5G to transmit patient data from an ambulance to the emergency room.

Why does it matter? Look at how connected technology aided in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Many wireless carriers collaborated with healthcare agencies and government entities to ensure technology was available to aid the process.

Overall, 5G is poised to revolutionize the healthcare industry and its impact is already taking shape. AT&T and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will pilot use cases with 5G and multi-access edge computing technologies to improve healthcare delivery to the approximately 9 million veterans who use VA services.

1 Currently access to AT&T mmWave (5G+) is available to first responders in limited parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues.