Latest News

2020 Safer Buildings Coalition Board of Directors Election – What You Need to Know

Election Graphic

Posted on June 17, 2020

The 2020 election for the Safer Buildings Coalition Board of Directors is coming up. As always, we strongly encourage our members to vote in this election -- and to consider putting your name on the 2020 ballot and help the Coalition continue to make a difference. 

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s election:

New roles for current President & Vice President

Current SBC Board President Patrick Lau of Comba Telecom will step into the role of Immediate Past President. Thank you for your service, Patrick!

Current SBC Board VP Eric Toenjes of Graybar will become President of the Board. 

Which positions are up for election?

Vice President – Term: 1 year. Note that this is a three-year commitment, which includes the positions of: Vice President (1 year), President (1 year) & Immediate Past Present (1 year).

Treasurer – Term: 3 years.


From the Chief’s Corner: Inside the Stairway, Allowed or Not...

Chief Alan Perdue

Posted on June 17, 2020

AHJs and integrators often ask me what seems like a really simple question: “Can I put antennas, or even the backbone cable, within a rated exit stairway?” To answer that question let’s start with the word “intent.” “Intent” is a noun that comes from the verb "intend." It means to have something in mind as a plan or purpose. So, what is the plan or purpose of an in-building emergency responder communications enhancement system (ERCES)? Quite simply: It is to provide communications capabilities for the first responders.

The events of 9-11 at the World Trade Center have certainly guided many changes within the fire service. Most important to many of us are the requirements related to in-building communications.


Safer Buildings Coalition Surveys: We Asked the Important Questions; You Provided the Answers

Smartphone app gfx

Posted on June 17, 2020

As part of our efforts to keep in touch with you, our members, and better understand how best to serve you, the Safer Buildings Coalition in March hired Matthew Champagne, Ph.D. to help us establish a targeted survey program. Dr. Champagne has gathered more than 93 million survey responses from 550 organizations worldwide and will leverage this database and his 30 years of research to ensure the accuracy of member feedback.

Many of you have received and answered these surveys -- thanks for that. This has provided us with valuable insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your business and the industry as a whole; how you see the strength of your companies a year from now; and your thoughts on technologies that may be part of the post-pandemic "new normal." And much more.


Don’t Forget to Take Advantage of the Safer Buildings Coalition Referral Program

SBC Referral Program

Posted on June 17, 2020

Safer Buildings Coalition membership keeps growing; both in terms of numbers and diversity. And that is what makes us stronger as an organization. 

We want to continue this growth, and we are delighted to announce that our Referral Program remains in place as a way for you, our members, to help spread the word about SBC and receive a discount on your membership fee. 

This program allows members to earn membership discounts when they refer a new member to the Coalition. These are the details for the program...


Get to Know Your Safer Buildings Coalition Workgroups — Codes & Standards

Josh Gerst

Posted on June 17, 2020

Workgroup: Codes & Standards
Chair: Josh Gerst, Vice President of Engineering at RF Connect.

Safer Buildings Coalition: Please describe your work group and its objectives.
Josh Gerst: The Codes and Standards workgroup is currently the largest workgroup inside SBC. 

Our main objectives are:

  • Helping to shape code by working through the IFC and NFPA formal code processes.
  • Working with local AHJs to help them clearly interpret existing code, and to properly enforce it.  


Get to Know Your Safer Buildings Coalition Workgroups — Government Affairs

Jon Pasqualone

Posted on June 17, 2020

Workgroup: Government Affairs 
Chair: Jon Pasqualone, Executive Director, Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association (FFMIA). 

Safer Buildings Coalition: Please describe your work group and its objectives.
Jon Pasqualone: The Government Affairs workgroup in my mind is a base where the foundation is built for the three pillars of the Safer Buildings Coalition. Our official page states: “The Working Group's purpose is to provide timely expertise and advice to the Safer Buildings Coalition Board of Directors. The Working Group responds to requests for assistance from the SBC Sponsor and Co-Sponsor (acting on behalf of the Board of Directors) tracks government affairs issues of concern (or potential concern) to the Coalition, and drafts for the Board of Directors approval responses or position statements as needed.”


Get to Know Your Safer Buildings Coalition Workgroups — Advancement 

Mark Reynolds

Posted on June 17, 2020

Workgroup: Advancement 
Chair: Mark Reynolds (Associate Director IT), University of New Mexico

Safer Buildings Coalition: Please describe your work group and its objectives.
Mark Reynolds: The main goal of the Safer Buildings Coalition’s Advancement workgroup is to assure the SBC goals and vision meet the current and new membership along with many verticals in the life safety organizations.


Get to Know Your Safer Buildings Coalition Workgroups — Public Safety Technology 

Matt Brown

Posted on June 17, 2020

Workgroup: Public Safety Technology
Chair: Matt Brown, Partner - Sales, Marketing and Consulting, HetNet

Safer Buildings Coalition: Please describe your work group and its objectives.
Matt Brown: The Public Safety Technology Workgroup was formed to engage other stakeholders in the in-building network - mainly the license holders. With this engagement we are hoping to give them a voice within both SBC and also within the community to help guide all of the various inputs to a better understanding of the requirements and needs of this important group.


T-Mobile Offers Free 5G for First Responders for 10 Years

T-Mobile Logo

Posted on May 21, 2020
Connecting Heroes Program Available to all of the Nation’s First Responder Agencies

T-Mobile on Thursday announced Connecting Heroes - a new program, which offers free cellular service to first responders. Specifically, the program provides free unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data, with the highest network priority, to all U.S. state and local public and non-profit law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies. This covers access to T-Mobile's 5G network where available.


From the Chief’s Corner: The Connector and the Backbone Cable

Chief Alan Perdue

Posted on May 22, 2020

I know, The Connector and the Backbone Cable sounds like the title of a children’s book.  But in reality, as it relates to a public safety in-building communications enhancement system solution, these are two critical components to the point where you cannot have one without the other. It is extremely important that both be installed “by the book.”  

So, what does “by the book” really mean?  The phrase, an old English idiom, ascertains doing something properly or in an appropriate manner, to complete the task according to the rules. Research indicates that this saying originally referred to the Christian Bible, however, its current meaning often refers to any written or implied set of rules governing the activity a person is performing. In our context, the book is the adopted codes and standards (IFC, NFPA) governing public safety in-building communications enhancement system solutions.


Ex-Google Chief Eric Schmidt Predicts Pandemic Will Create Demand for More Office Space, Not Less

Eric Schmidt

Posted on May 22, 2020
Top Five Predictions from Schmidt on the Post-COVID World
By Mikkel Schultz, Senior Editor

With COVID-19 crippling the world economy, there is widespread belief that demand for office space will decrease significantly. But in an interview with Face the Nation, former Google CEO and founder of Schmidt Futures, predicted that the demand will in fact increase because people will want social distancing when they return to work. In the interview, Schmidt also suggested that the trend toward people moving to and working in supercities will change and talked about the importance of making the internet accessible to everyone, especially those who live in rural areas.

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