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GCN : April 2015
able to use enhanced video surveillance from five surveillance cameras on Band Class 14, as well as upload photographs and conduct situational awareness and mapping. To provide capacity at the race’s fin- ish line in Beaver Creek, a remote area that sits 8,000 feet above sea level in a topography known for poor network communications, the team deployed a mobile cell on wheels. Push-to-talk was also integrated with the land mobile radio network that all responders accessed so the two net- works could communicate. “ They really liked the push-to-talk functionality, which essentially turned a smart phone into almost a two-way radio,” Shepherd said. First responders also liked the situ- ational awareness application enabling them to locate each other on maps. Typically, local public safety managers use automatic vehicle location on their computer-aided dispatch systems, but that shows only vehicles’ position, Kirk- land said. “In this event, the officers were on foot for the vast majority of the time, so we had an awareness of their location that we wouldn’t have had without it,” said Kirkland, who enabled her person- al device for use from a dispatcher’s per- spective. “It was great to be able to see where our responders were on a map. It was nice to be able to push to talk to them if I needed to. From a dispatch perspective, knowing where the officers and responders were and having that situational awareness was fantastic.” Training first responders to use the devices was easy, and they were up and running quickly, she added. “ The end users – our police and firefighters – re- GCN APRIL 2015 • GCN.COM 29 Getting wireless cellphone coverage in the ski resort towns of Vail and Beaver Creek, Colo., has always been a challenge. This winter when 150,000 extra people arrived for the Alpine World Ski Championships, FirstNet Colorado and its partners tested a dedicated LTE broadband network using FirstNet- licensed 700 MHz spectrum. Over the course of the event, users – including local police, federal law enforcement agencies, the FBI, National Guard, FEMA and public safety support personnel – sent and received 1.96 terabytes of data using rugged cellphones with capabilities for voice, text, GIS, video and push to talk. The extended coverage and increased capacity and speed let first responders access vital information in real time. FRANKMAY/APIMAGES 0415gcn_028-030.indd 29 3/30/15 9:36 AM