The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) https://www.firstnet.gov and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) https://www.umc.edu/UMMC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on innovation emergency medical care and response as well as provide mobile broadband for rural first responders in Mississippi and nationwide.
The FirstNet Authority within the Department of Commerce is responsible for the buildout of FirstNet, the only dedicated nationwide broadband network for U.S first responders. The FirstNet Authority is working to better understand the needs of first responders operating in rural communities.
Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, “FirstNet is designed to help modernize public safety communications. The collaboration will enable the FirstNet Authority and the UMMC’s Mississippi Center for Emergency Services to work together to drive innovation for first responders not only in Mississippi but also nationwide.”
According to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, “The University of Mississippi leads the nation in advancing telehealth and emergency services and through our collaboration with the FirstNet Authority, we will share our expertise and knowledge to help connect and innovate for first responders throughout the state and nationwide.”
UMMC, Mississippi’s only academic health sciences center, established the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services to help the state maintain medical services during emergencies and disasters. UMMC’s telehealth network, First Net Authority, and the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services have been designated as one of two Telehealth Centers of Excellence by HRSA.
The collaboration with UMMC’s FirstNet Authority will gain critical insight into how medical incidents are handled in rural communities. This means that first responders will be able to use innovative technologies to improve medical response and patient outcomes.
The FirstNet Authority and the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services plan to create demonstrations providing instructions to first responders on how the broadband is to be incorporated into the FirstNet Authority’s new experience program. This program aims to introduce first responders to current and future technologies through hands-on educational and learning experiences.
The MOU also makes it possible to establish the FirstNet Authority’s University program to enable FirstNet to partner with universities in public safety communications to provide not only the network but also to educate public safety employees on how to best use cutting edge technologies.