Could a connected world one day mean a safer world? In the wake of the 10-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S., the nation is taking a look at where it was, where it is, and where it is headed regarding public safety. M2M (machine-to-machine) technology has begun to change the way we think of emergency communications, first response, and disaster preparedness and relief, enabling tools and solutions that were not an option a decade ago.
Safety is also on the mind of the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Assn.), www.tiaonline.org, which released a statement this past weekend in honor of the 9/11 anniversary. TIA President Grant Seiffert said one of the association’s main goals is to support the public-safety community, especially by helping to develop and maintain standards for the latest technology to be used by consumers, businesses, and governments.
Seiffert says TIA is working to build out public-safety networks; advocate in Washington for an interoperable public-safety network; and manufacture public-safety communications systems, equipment, and devices.
What does this actually look like? If 2012 is to be the year of public safety in M2M, then we should be seeing a number of solutions being deployed across the country. In reality, we are.
The Peggy Smedley Show, www.peggysmedleyshow.com, an Internet talk radio show that focuses on M2M and connected devices, is highlighting a number of these solutions in a series featuring first responders that are implementing M2M technology solutions to maximize service to their community.
The series, which launched on August 16, will continue next Tuesday, September 20, with a 30-minute interview with Bob McKeeman, chairman of the board, Utility, www.utility.com; and Laine Matthews, director of business development, Wilson Electronics, www.wilsonelectronics.com. The discussion will focus on how the two companies partner to provide a robust solution for first responders.
Public-service organizations like the San Jose Police Dept., are also reaping the benefits of implementing a technology solution to better serve the public. The department deployed a solution from Feeney Wireless, www.feeneywireless.com, which provides GPS information for dispatch, delivers realtime data about detainees, and enables its mobile fingerprinting project, among other things.
How important is the wireless industry’s role in developing larger-scale systems that will assist first responders? P25 (Project 25), a steering committee supported by agencies such as the DOD (Dept. of Defense), believes common standards for digital public-safety radio communications will pave the way for a stronger first-response infrastructure in the U.S.
TIA says P25-compliant systems will help ensure equipment interoperability, compatibility, and economy of scale. Interoperability among first responders just may be a key to success in the long run. By encouraging manufacturers to provide compliant products, and making an effort to provide cost-effective emergency communications solutions, the wireless industry can help ensure we, as a nation, are as prepared as possible to keep citizens safe.