FirstNet Awards Lane Harlin R. McEwen Award
Wednesday, December 09, 2020 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) awarded Jeff Lane, the recently retired chief of Gainesville (Florida) Fire and Rescue, the Harlin R. McEwen Public-Safety Broadband Communications Award.

Lane worked for Gainesville Fire and Rescue in a variety of roles including communications officer, hazardous materials technician, paramedic and commander before becoming chief. The FirstNet Authority honored Lane with the award for spearheading an effort to evaluate and expand wireless broadband needs for emergency services in the Gainesville area, said FirstNet Authority Board Vice Chair Richard Carrizzo. That effort led to a citywide adoption of FirstNet services.

“We thank Chief Lane for his hard work and congratulate him on his recent retirement, even though we know that he will continue to keep working and advocating for FirstNet, not just within Gainesville but throughout the whole nation,” Carrizzo said during the board’s meeting on Dec. 9.

Lane said the award was a reflection of the hard work of different public-safety personnel in the city.

“This award recognizes the work and commitment of men and women in law enforcement, fire rescue and emergency management,” Lane said. “It is on their behalf that I accept the award, and I am glad to be chosen and accept something that reflects so well based on Chief Harlin McEwen’s advocacy and leadership, and certainly those of other recipients as well.”

Lane thanked the FirstNet Authority for its work in pushing broadband innovation and interoperability and said that its important that work continue. The use of FirstNet has allowed Gainesville to expand its communications ecosystem with a variety of new technologies such as a decentralized emergency operations center and wearables that provide key vital information on emergency personnel in the field. Continuing innovation and getting first responders to buy in is critical, Lane said. “These applications and other uses of the FirstNet platform will define the next decade for us and for FirstNet,” he said. “Finding common ground is going to be hard because firefighters, police officers, and other public-safety people are very practical. It can’t just be hypothetical or have potential; it needs to work.”

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