Notable public safety agencies in Iowa County are connecting first responders to FirstNet® – the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. This tech advancement provides first responders with new capabilities and reliable access to critical information while in the field, allowing them to better serve those who live, work and visit Iowa County.
FirstNet is designed to improve communications across public safety entities nationwide, allowing first responders to communicate with one another during everyday situations, big events or emergencies. This is integral to solving for the common roadblock that communications issues have posed on past public safety responses.
Working with rural service providers, FirstNet has also added Band 14 spectrum to existing sites across Wisconsin to provide increased network coverage and capacity in the area. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. Band 14 is viewed as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be available and locked just for FirstNet subscribers.
Each agency is using FirstNet in a variety of ways, including on frontline apparatus, vehicles, modems, routers, department-issued smartphones phones and more.
“FirstNet has far exceeded our expectations for rural connectivity in rural, hilly southwest Wisconsin. Cellular coverage for public safety has been an issue for years prior to FirstNet investing in our area’s public safety needs. FirstNet listened to our needs and concerns from the start of the Band 14 build out,” said Chief Alan Schrank, Linden Police Department. “Our agency switched to FirstNet to have a reliable connection, and FirstNet has far exceeded expectations in what was previously an area riddled with cellular service dead zones. It has also increased our officer safety by providing 4G LTE cellular coverage to keep me and my officers safe.”
“We’re already experiencing the benefits of FirstNet,” said Sheriff Steve Michek, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office. “Our deputies have improved coverage through the use of smartphones and in-vehicle modems in patrol cars all connected to FirstNet.”
Linden Police Department, City of Dodgeville Police Department, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa County Emergency Management joined FirstNet to provide first responders with reliable, modern communications tools needed to perform at our best, including:
- One, nationwide communications network that allows for efficient and effective coordination of emergency responses across agencies and jurisdictions.
- Always-on priority and preemption to give reliable access to the connection first responders need – even when the network is congested.
- A separate, dedicated and highly secure network core purpose-built for public safety’s sensitive communications.
- Access to a dedicated, nationwide fleet of over 100 land-based and airborne portable cell sites for emergencies and planned events at no additional charge.
- Innovative tools – like relevant applications and connected devices – to give more actionable information for heightened situational awareness.
“FirstNet coverage in Iowa County is excellent. We made the switch to FirstNet in 2019 and it has proven to be reliable service for our operations,” said Keith Hurlbert, Director of Iowa County Emergency Management. “In addition to having voice and text when needed, I have used the hotspot feature to access the internet with a laptop when working emergency situations in the field or monitoring weather events while out weather spotting.
“FirstNet will help first responders in Iowa County and across the country perform at the highest levels to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm’s way.”Scott VanderSanden — President, AT&T Wisconsin
“We’re honored that Linden Police Department, City of Dodgeville Police Department, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa County Emergency Management chose FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities,” said Scott VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin. “It’s our mission to give first responders the cutting-edge tools they need to safely and effectively achieve their mission. FirstNet will help first responders in Iowa County and across the country perform at the highest levels to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm’s way.”
“FirstNet is the communications network being built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety. There is no substitution for this dedicated platform,” said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We look forward to supporting these Iowa County agencies and all of Wisconsin’s public safety community with FirstNet, making sure it delivers what they need, when they need it.”
To learn more about these agencies, visit Linden Police Department, City of Dodgeville Police Department, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa County Emergency Management. To learn more about FirstNet, go to FirstNet.com.