FirstNet is a nationwide communications infrastruture that will be assisting first responders (fire, police, and EMS) in converting from land mobile radios to a nationwide connected LTE network. First responders of the future will have technologies available that enable real-time information flow.
Such technologies, if designed correctly, could be useful in enhancing safety and security for persons with disabilities. For example, FirstNet could be used to provide resources and tools needed to communicate with PWD including those with cognitive impairments. Real time communication tools that could rapidly be deployed at the time of need would greatly enhance interactions where communication is difficult.
FirstNet could also be used to provide real-time building level data about the location and equipment needs of PWD to reduce overall response times.
Finally, FirstNet might be used to provide hyper-local accessible emergency alerts and two-way communications so that first responders can be directly connected to those being served.
Georgia Tech is playing a large role in defining the user experience and we are making sure that the needs of PWD are adequately considered in the launch of this new technology.
More information on FirstNet can be found at: www.firstnet.gov.