Dialysis Firm Joins FirstNet as Extended Primary User
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | Comments

Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), a renal care company, was approved to join the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The nationwide public-safety broadband network will help ensure FMCNA employees stay connected during a natural disaster or emergency, allowing them to continue providing life-sustaining access to dialysis treatment for patients with kidney failure.

FMCNA joins FirstNet as an extended primary user — organizations and agencies that could be called on to help support public safety during emergency response. Eligibility for extended primary user status is rigorously reviewed before service is approved to help ensure that FirstNet's unique capabilities remain dedicated to first responders and those who support them.

"We are proud to be one of the first private healthcare providers to join the FirstNet communications platform," said Bob Loeper, vice president for operations support and disaster response at FMCNA. "During any disaster situation, we must have reliable and accurate communications to coordinate directly with first responders and our staff. Every hour counts for patients who depend on life-sustaining dialysis, so this network will help ensure we can always deliver high-quality care even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances."

In recent years, FMCNA's Disaster Response Team has responded to support patients and employees and reopen dialysis centers quickly in the wake of numerous hurricanes, as well as the California wildfires. The 2019 hurricane season began earlier this month, and should a disaster strike, FMCNA is ready to open its doors to any patient in need of dialysis regardless of their usual provider.

"We're honored that Fresenius Medical Care has chosen FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities," said Stacy Schwartz, vice president, AT&T – public safety and FirstNet. "FirstNet will help FMCNA better coordinate their response efforts as they support dialysis patients who are some of the most vulnerable during a disaster or other emergency situation."

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