FirstNet Launches Public-Safety App Developer Program for First Responders
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and AT&T launched the first developer program geared toward U.S. first responders.

The program encourages public safety-focused innovation to help equip first responders with state-of-the-art communications tools. The program also brings public safety closer to having its own app store where officials can find new solutions purpose-built for their needs, a statement said.

“This program will tap into the expertise and creativity of the developer community to drive innovation for public safety,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “It will also connect first responders with developers to create apps that will help them stay safe and save lives.”

The developer program will feed the FirstNet app store, providing public safety with a one-stop shop for reliable, highly secure solutions optimized for the FirstNet network. Based on common and open standards, the ecosystem will offer innovative, financially sound and interoperable public-safety solutions.

Through the program, developers will be able to create apps for public safety and scale them for first responders. Developers now have access to a specialized portal housing resources to help them successfully build, test, deploy and maintain public-safety applications. In addition to programming tools such as application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits, the portal features guidelines to follow when developing for public safety.

Situational awareness, in-building mapping, field reporting and records management, wearable devices and telemetry solutions, and forensic intelligence are areas of focus for potential developers.

The program will also enable collaboration between first responders and developers to create mission-critical apps for public safety and tools that give them access to timely information. FirstNet and AT&T will host events and challenges to help foster this collaboration.

Developers can now submit their apps for inclusion in the FirstNet app store as either “certified” or “reviewed” for first responder use. Upon submission, FirstNet and AT&T will follow this process:
• Evaluate performance, service-level agreements (SLAs) and potential source code vulnerabilities.
• Provide a “certified” or “reviewed” rating depending on the application’s uptime availability, resiliency and scalability for simultaneous users.
• Publish “certified” and “reviewed” apps in the FirstNet app store.

In addition to working with developers, the program will evaluate existing public-safety apps for inclusion in the store. The development of the FirstNet app ecosystem was informed in consultation with public safety and in close collaboration with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and other public-safety organizations to support app security, interoperability and reliability.

Details on how to submit apps and the criteria by which they are evaluated can be found on the FirstNet developer portal.

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