FirstNet® shows how practical apps become innovative public safety solutions
Tuesday, June 01, 2021 | Comments
FirstNet is much more than a wireless broadband network for first responders. It’s an entire ecosystem of solutions that includes FirstNet Certified™ and FirstNet Verified™  apps to help first responders do their important work. And the MissionCritical Communications App Webinars give us some real-life examples of how agencies put them to use.

Through these webinars, MissionCritical Communications highlights the robust ecosystem of apps already helping public safety agencies automate, simplify, and digitize their difficult work. Mobility and security experts thoroughly evaluate every included solution. 

That means agencies no longer need to sift through the commercial app stores for solutions that have the security and reliability they need. If it is in the FirstNet App Catalog, it is relevant to public safety, highly secure, and reliable. Agencies are implementing these practical digital tools in innovative ways.  And having reliable wireless connectivity from FirstNet makes that possible. 

In the April webinars, public safety professionals and app providers discussed how FirstNet Verified™ apps are helping agencies test, trace, and treat COVID-19. 

Contact Tracing & Collaborative Coordination

Marcus Molinaro, the County Executive elected to Dutchess County, N.Y., talked about how his office used the FirstNet Verified™ app RumbleUp. RumbleUp supplies peer-to-peer text messaging on a mass scale.  Dutchess county case investigators had challenges reaching individuals who have COVID. So, they used RumbleUp to send personalized text messages to smartphone users who had received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The text messages included isolation instructions, information about shopping and support services, and links to a tracing survey.

The backlog of cases dramatically decreased the moment the agency implemented RumbleUp, according to Molinaro. He shared his excitement that technology like RumbleUp helps him “scale up service and scale up response”, while “scaling down staffing.”  The win-win situation helped the county provide comfort to residents experiencing “unprecedented economic hardship, a health crisis, and a difficult political environment,” Molinaro explained. 

The Texas Emergency Medical Task Force effectively managed COVID-19 patient surges by using the FirstNet Verified™ app Pulsara. At the height of the pandemic, when regions across West Texas were overwhelmed with cases, the task force was forced to redistribute hospital admissions across the state. And the agency had to transport some El Paso patients almost 13 hours away to East Texas, where there were beds available. With Pulsara, they were able to create one “channel” for each patient. The app allowed them to manage and record medical data and care team activities through the entire continuum of care on this unified channel. They collected new test results and other medical data and added that to the same patient channel. As the patient care team grew, the new members were added to the patient channel so they could also have visibility into the full continuum of care.

To hear the stories and watch the demos first hand, you can find an on-demand recorded version of the webinar at:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8168118364660795150

Medical Response & HIPPA Compliant Information Sharing

The Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department and its interfacility transfer partner, American Medical Response of Western Massachusetts, use FirstNet® devices and the FirstNet Verified™ app e-Bridge to screen and triage patients with potential or confirmed COVID-19 infections. Ambulance technicians use e-Bridge for telehealth communication with the hospitals. This process helps the Intensive Care Unit and transfer center effectively communicate with Emergency Medical System teams. This allows the teams to ensure they have necessary personal protective equipment and assign rooms  well before the patient arrives.  This helps reduce the amount of exposure to EMS and Emergency Department staff during patient handover and improve communications with inpatient care teams. 

Although FirstNet has available end-to-end encryption, agencies must still safeguard HIPPA-protected patient health information resting on a mobile device.  They need to protect every endpoint device from risky user behavior, bad actors, lost equipment, and non-compliance with enterprise policies.  Transport staff at Southstar Emergency Medical Services solved that problem by installing the FirstNet Verified™ app Corrata on their ambulance tablets and other FirstNet devices.  Many smaller agencies and organizations use Corrata because of the ease and speed in which they can configure and implement it  across an entire fleet of devices.  Corrata safeguards your data by proactively finding and mitigating the risks associated with mobile security threats.  On the webinar, Corrata introduced eight important questions to help agencies decide whether they need help.

  1. Does each device have a passcode set?
  2. Can you wipe device data remotely?
  3. Is the operating system on each device up to date?
  4. Has a phishing attack happened?
  5. Do you know if apps have been installed from an unofficial app store?
  6. Do you know if you have any jailbroker/rooted devices?
  7. Does each device use strong encryption when on public Wi-Fi?
  8. Do you know when a device is infected with malware?

To hear the stories and watch the demos first hand you can find an on-demand recorded version of the webinar at:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5309285877862118412

Remote Testing Connectivity & Vaccination Logistics

The FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG) continues to provide FirstNet customers with access to network deployables.  These dedicated deployables provide agencies with continuity of operations in rural areas as well as areas suffering from severe weather events.  The ROG supplies support for planned events and unplanned emergencies at no additional cost to FirstNet agencies.  As early as January 28, 2020, FirstNet was supporting COVID response with international quarantining facilities in California.  Soon after, deployables connected over 400 patient transport vehicles and field medical centers in Fort Totten and Randall’s Island, New York.  FirstNet deployables connected docked Naval ships such as the USNS Mercy in southern California, USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam, and the USNS Comfort in New York.   And FirstNet connected pop-up testing centers in connected states across the nation, including in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Georgia. 

Marathon organizers realize the benefits of managing and tracking individuals who require medical attention using the FirstNet Verified™ apps EMOS1 and MPTS.  The apps help manage communications during school endurance events, which recently helped 12,000 students stay safe during a severe weather event.  City officials are exploring use of the same digital tools to plan, schedule, and disseminate COVID-19 vaccinations. 

To hear the stories and watch the demos first hand you can find an on-demand recorded version of the webinar at:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3699512893979933454

Learn More & View the App Catalog

Learn more about the FirstNet App Catalog by downloading the FirstNet App Catalog Booklet.  And if your agency is not already benefiting from priority services from FirstNet, visit FirstNet.com to learn more about communications ecosystem built especially with and for first responders.



 
 
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