State Public Safety Technology Forums: A First Step in Keeping Marylanders Safe
The Forums were led by Raymond Lehr, Maryland’s Statewide Interoperability Director and Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for the State for FirstNet, and included speakers such as Major Ken Hasenei and Sonya Anderson from MSP, Barney Krucoff and Ken Miller from DoIT, and CHHS interoperability experts discussing FirstNet. Each presentation came down to one important message: shared information is power. Sharing information and data is the key to both solving crimes, responding to disasters, and preventing future ones. With advances in the technology being used in public safety, Maryland is leading the way. From interoperable radios and CCTVs to the planning for FirstNet, Maryland is putting itself in the best position possible to better protect its citizens. Jack Markey, Director of the Frederick County Division of Emergency Management and Clay Stamp, Assistant County Manager and Director of Talbot County Emergency Services, also spoke at the Forums about the importance of the counties and the State working together on public safety technology programs.
At each regional Forum, five technology programs were presented to public safety and information technology specialists. Maryland FiRST, a state-of-the-art digital 700Mz communications system, will provide the highest level of interoperability in emergency communications around the State. Major Hasenei presented on the Statewide Computer Aided Dispatch/Records Management System (CAD/RMS) which will include users and dispatch centers throughout the State of Maryland. The CAD/RMS will be a major improvement from many previous dispatch and records systems by increasing efficiency at all levels. Sonya Anderson, also from MSP, gave an overview of MView, the state and regional CCTV program and system, which is a secure web-based portal for viewing first responder video that provides situational awareness. OSPREY, a suite of tools that consolidates many sources of real-time and geographic data was presented by Barney Krucoff and Ken Miller. Stone, Romanik, and Webster presented on FirstNet and explained how Maryland is in the planning stages of the nation’s first ever high-speed broadband data network dedicated to public safety.
CHHS staffers have been working with MSP and DoIT to reach out to public safety stakeholders in the State to help FirstNet build a network that meets the needs of first responders and the workers who support them. The Forums were the first step in their outreach program. While first responders were learning about the new advances in their field, the Broadband Team emphasized that many of these programs will be enhanced by the deployment of FirstNet. Not only will they have the technology that enables them to do their job, it will always be accessible no matter where they were or what conditions they found themselves in. Data including video, maps, suspect pictures, and surveillance videos will be available to first responders in the field and in the palm of their hand. The presentation conveyed that FirstNet is about making first responders safer and more efficient.
Moving forward, CHHS staffers will utilize their interoperability expertise during the coming months to collect input from first responders and public safety stakeholders in order to prepare the State for its consultation with FirstNet about the deployment of the NPSBN in Maryland. And when FirstNet is deployed, this dedicated nationwide high-speed broadband network will give first responders the power to share data and information that will help them do their jobs better and more safely, ultimately keeping the people of Maryland safe.