Imagine that you’re the lead rescue planner for an event that has attracted more than 100,000 people. Then imagine that sometime during that event sensors indicate a possible anthrax contamination. That’s exactly the situation Tom Shannon, the current chief of the Salt Lake City Fire Department found himself in nearly two years ago.
Broadband will enable advanced devices and applications that will generate a blizzard of useful information for first responders. The potential flip side is that next-generation technology will create so much information that 911 telecommunicators will be buried under an avalanche.
To say that broadband, particularly 700 MHz broadband, has been a hot topic here at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference would be an understatement. Not only have there been several sessions on the subject, but all of them have been well attended, including a couple that left more than 40 people standing because all seats in the room were taken.