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SBC Annual Meeting Recap

Posted on June 30, 2016. 

Last week marked the first of many successful Annual Meetings for the Safer Buildings Coalition. Representatives from several of our member organizations, as well as prospective members, gathered on the beautiful campus of Texas Christian University to discuss past, present, and future goals for improving in-building wireless communications.

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Announcement | Safer Buildings Coalition Annual Meeting 2016

Posted on June 3, 2016.

The Safer Buildings Coalition is pleased to announce details for our 2016 Annual Meeting.   The meeting will be held before DASPedia’s In-Building Wireless Technology Seminar + Networking event coming up on June 22. Attendees can expect to receive an update on the code development process from Executive Director, Chief Alan Perdue (Ret.), as well as learn about new coalition initiatives from Safer Buildings Coalition’s Founder, Seth Buechley. 

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In-Building Public Safety Vertical Location Technologies May Solve Large Building Communication Problems

Posted on May 26, 2016. 

Large buildings pose special challenges for public safety communications for two main reasons: Cell signals can have a tough time penetrating walls, and traditional navigation technologies do not provide vertical location information, a.k.a. z-axis data. Several government bodies, including the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), are in a hurry to fix those problems.

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How FirstNet Will Affect Public Safety

Posted on May 12, 2016.

The First Responder Network Authority – FirstNet – was brought to life by an act of Congress in 2012 with the goal of building a nationwide wireless broadband network for as many as 13 million public safety personnel.


 

How FirstNet Will Affect Public Safety

Posted on May 12, 2016.

FirstNetThe First Responder Network Authority – FirstNet – was brought to life by an act of Congress in 2012 with the goal of building a nationwide wireless broadband network for as many as 13 million public safety personnel. Those behind the initiative foresee an interoperable communications network for firefighters, police officers and paramedics across the country, all benefiting from state-of-the-art technologies, location information, specialized devices and access to the right data at the right time.

PHOTO COURTESY: New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYS DHSES, psbb.ny.gov)

It is a bold vision. But visions don’t fight fires, combat crime or provide emergency medical services, and so it should come as no surprise that the word is still trickling out to many of those on the front lines of public safety.

“There are a lot of benefits to FirstNet, and it’s hard to envision them until you can touch them,” said Harlin McEwen, chairman of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee and retired police chief of Ithaca, N.Y. Among its many advantages, the network will be more secure and more reliable than commercial networks, and it will reach areas considered unprofitable by commercial carriers.

Public safety personnel will have priority access to the network, which means they will be able to transmit data, video, images and text even during catastrophes when the commercial networks tend to get over-loaded. Initially, the network will supplement public safety’s dedicated land mobile radio networks used for voice communications, but eventually it is expected to carry mission-critical voice calls as well.

FirstNet users will have dedicated access to new broadband capabilities while reaping the benefits of consumer-driven technologies – lower costs and rapid evolution – because the network will be based on the commercial standard for Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. It will enable emergency responders to exchange real-time data and video feeds from the site of a fire, medical emergency or crime in progress, improving their situational awareness. More accurate location-based services are also expected on the FirstNet network so that responders inside buildings can be tracked whether they are on the 18th floor of a high-rise or in a subway.

“When you think about what capability a teenager has with a smartphone, first responders don’t have even that same capability with their devices in buildings,” said Alan Purdue, retired director of Emergency Services in Guilford County, N.C. and executive director of the Safer Buildings Coalition. “Right now I can take my phone, hit the Uber app, request a ride and it knows where I’m at. The driver arrives and takes me to my destination. But if I’m a firefighter with a crew inside a building, I don’t have the capability to pinpoint where they are.”

FirstNet is an independent entity within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Department of Commerce. Its board of directors includes the U.S. attorney general, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and 12 members appointed by the secretary of the Commerce Department. Congress authorized $7 billion in funding and 200 Mhz of spectrum for the network. The group released a request for proposal in January, and it hopes to award a 25-year contract to a commercial partner in November.

A wide range of public safety applications and enhanced devices are also part of the FirstNet plan. The devices need to be rugged, secure and convenient, and they must account for all the gear first responders wear and carry, including heavy gloves. What’s more, they need to be easy to administer.

The one thing nobody promised about the FirstNet vision is that it would be quick or easy to implement.

“This is a very complex and challenging project,” Chief McEwen said. “You have to convince people that what is happening will help them. That’s difficult to do when you’re talking about something that’s not in place. The people in public safety who have been intimately involved would tell you that FirstNet is taking on a very positive role, and it looks better every day.”

By Caron Carlson – Safer Buildings Coalition Contributor 


Learn more about joining the SBC by clicking here.  Also be sure follow us on our Facebook page, Twitter (@SaferBuildings), and connect with us on LinkedIn.

 

Safer Buildings Presents As Panelist At FCC DAS And Small Cell Workshop

Posted on May 3, 2016. 

This week Safer Buildings Coalition Executive Director, Chief Alan Perdue (Ret.), represented the SBC as a panelist at the FCC DAS and Small Cell Workshop. Alongside Mike Collado, Vice President of Marketing for SOLiD Americas (a founding member of the Safer Buildings Coalition), Chief Perdue communicated to those in attendance the imperative surrounding in-building wireless communication.

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DAS Remote Monitoring & Management Webinar With C Squared Systems

Posted on April 28, 2016. 

Recently the Safer Buildings Coalition hosted a webinar exploring DAS Remote Monitoring & Management featuring one our coalition members, C Squared Systems.

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Live Call | Crafting The Code – The Future of In-Building Public Safety Wireless Communications

Posted on April 26, 2016. 

2016 is well underway and there are many exciting developments happening with our coalition. One of the most important efforts we’re engaged in right now involves the code proposals we created together with various stakeholders (including our SBC members) last Fall. These are codes that will impact your organization in the years ahead.

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Chief Perdue Participates At ICC Fire Code Action Committee Meetings

Posted on March 30, 2016. 

Safer Buildings Coalition is set to be well represented at the upcoming 2016 International Code Council’s (ICC) Fire Code Action Committee (FCAC) meetings. Chief Alan Perdue, Executive Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition, will be attending the FCAC meetings taking place on March 31 – April 1, 2016 in Chicago, IL. The ICC Code Action Committees are code discipline specific committees whose purposes are to enhance the technical requirements of the International Codes (I-Codes).

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Public Safety DAS Spend Forecasted to Break Billion Dollar Mark

Posted on March 25, 2016. 

The future of public safety DAS may be looking toward achieving a steady increase on many fronts in the coming years. In a recent news release, ABI Research projected that the move from current narrowband systems to LTE-based public safety will grow at double-digit rates over the next five years. It’s anticipated that this astonishing growth will result in public safety platforms doubling their DAS spending by 2021. In turn, it has been forecasted that the revenue from in-building wireless public safety systems will grow to reach $1.7 billion in 2021.

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Upcoming | Group B International Fire Code Hearings

Posted on March 18, 2016.

Safer Buildings Coalition is excited to announce that Executive Director, Chief Alan Perdue, will be attending this year's Group B International Fire Code Hearings. Chief Perdue has proven to be a key voice for in-building public safety communications, and has had much success in facilitating discussion and change among Public Safety and Wireless Communications leaders.

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