Including Public Safety personnel in the FirstNet board of directors membership just makes sense, however unforeseen benefits are materializing this week, as current acting User Advocacy Officer Jeff Johnson implemented a training program for future FirstNet technical engineers.
Johnson, former chief of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in Oregon, will give engineers a well-rounded training experience, fitting them with turnout gear and SCBA, running drills, and performing live-fire training at Tualatin's $1.5 million training facility.
“I don’t think anyone has anything out there that meets our needs today,” he said. “I think we are talking ground-up redesign, so it is important to put those people in that [live-fire] building, in gear, because those designing the criteria by which these devices are manufactured have to get a feel for it,” said Johnson, quoted in Fire Chief magazine.
Engineers will also be doing ride alongs with crews, and will be exposed to all critical aspects of firefighter and EMS operations. For more information on what FirstNet is doing to plan and build the NPSBN, visit the FirstNet section of the NTIA's website.