Washington, D.C. - The Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced today the launch of FirstResponderVoice.org, a new advocacy initiative and website devoted to increasing the availability of information about FirstNet for first responders and public safety agencies across the country.
In March 2017, the First Responder Network Authority, an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, selected AT&T to construct, maintain, and operate FirstNet, America’s first nationwide public safety broadband network dedicated to first responders. The creation of FirstNet has placed a well-deserved spotlight on emergency communications; generating renewed interest and competition throughout the entire public-safety communications ecosystem. As the first nationwide interoperable broadband network dedicated to public safety, FirstNet will act as an engine for future development and implementation of reliable, secure and state-of-the-art communications technologies for first responders.
“FirstResponderVoice.org will help me educate and advocate for my volunteer fire department’s communications needs,” said Vinny Galvin, a 25-year volunteer firefighter in Dutchess County, New York and member of CWA Local 1101. “It’s a fantastic resource that’s going to have a huge impact on making sure that firefighters like me across the country have access to this life-saving system.”
FirstResponderVoice.org is poised to be a leading resource for first responders – professional and volunteer, urban and rural – and other public-safety stakeholders, including IT directors, emergency communications coordinators, private citizens, and elected officials, to learn how communities can take full advantage of FirstNet and stay abreast of developments related to emergency communications and public safety.
The site offers the following features:
- Industry news, monthly newsletter and events alerts
- A directory of selected FirstNet subscribers nationwide
- Downloadable Toolkit, including step-by-step FirstNet subscription instructions
- Webinars and online trainings related to FirstNet
“Our members who are professional and volunteer first responders are enthusiastic about FirstNet. They know better than anyone how absolutely vital it is to have a clearinghouse for stakeholders so that they can be informed, empowered, and agile advocates for their communities,” said Bianca Garcia, CWA’s FirstNet Program Coordinator.
FirstNet is being built, operated and maintained by AT&T, the union wireless carrier. CWA represents tens of thousands of AT&T workers, public-safety professionals, and first responders across the United States and was an active member of the Public Safety Alliance, a coalition of first responder groups that was instrumental in supporting the creation of FirstNet. CWA also represents the growing workforce of customer care agents in Cerritos, California and Greensboro, North Carolina who are trained to handle FirstNet customer service calls from first responders.
The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, working in telecommunications and IT, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care and public service, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields.