First responders at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville now have access to a major boost in wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet network expansion underway in North Alabama.
Gov. Kay Ivey joined Deputy Commanding Gen. U.S. Army Materiel Command Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker and others Thursday to officially flip the switch on this beefed-up broadband connection.
“The collaboration of the U.S. Army and FirstNet will provide U.S. Army public safety personnel — firefighters, law enforcement and security — at 72 Army installations including Redstone Arsenal with increased capabilities to communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible, to best protect themselves and those they serve,” Ivey told the crowd Thursday.
New FirstNet cell sites will enhance voice and mobile broadband coverage on the Army base and give first responders on FirstNet access to 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
“Without communication, agencies cannot achieve the interoperability needed to bring vital resources to bear, especially when lives are at stake and time is of the essence,” said Walker. “FirstNet gives us this capability. Security and safety of everyone who lives and works on this installation is Job One. FirstNet is absolutely essential in that priority and pivotal in our efforts to improve the resilience of our installations. It is, in a word, a game changer.”
Ivey opted into FirstNet on behalf of the state of Alabama in 2017. The opt-in decision is providing Alabama first responders increased capabilities to communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible.
This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for Redstone Arsenal tenants like the FBI and NASA.
“U.S. Army public safety personnel deserve reliable coverage to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And, with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting,” said Wayne Hutchens, president of AT&T Alabama.