November 9, 2018
MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service Transforms First Responder Communications with FirstNet
New Technologies Expand Our Capabilities to Better Serve Patients
ATLANTA, Nov. 9, 2018 — MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service (MAAS) has implemented a technology upgrade with FirstNet – a groundbreaking new communications platform developed just for public safety.
FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety – available when and where we need it. Being built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), it gives our communications capabilities a major boost, providing a reliable and highly secure connection.
“Radio communication with local dispatch centers, hospitals and other responding agencies are critically important when responding to emergencies,” said Pete Quinones, President and CEO for MAAS. “This tech upgrade equips MetroAtlanta’s EMS personnel with new capabilities and reliable access to critical communication while in the field, so they can better serve patients across Georgia.”
By subscribing to FirstNet, MAAS will help keep paramedics connected to the critical information they need. This will help them reliably communicate with one another during everyday situations, big events or emergencies.
MAAS joined FirstNet to tap into the unique benefits that the dedicated communications platform brings to public safety:
- Immediate Innovation – Traditional public safety networks don’t support apps and video, but FirstNet does. This can enable us to use data in new ways, changing the way we accomplish our mission. FirstNet features a public safety-focused applications ecosystem and a growing device portfolio. This puts innovative tools at our fingertips. And the more actionable information and capabilities we have access to, the smarter and faster we can operate.
- System Reliability – FirstNet is purpose-built to the high standards of public safety based on an understanding of our needs. Plus, AT&T will be held accountable by the FirstNet Authority to deliver on their commitment to design and build a solution that meets our needs for years to come.
- Enhanced Security – Our sensitive communications will be routed through a nationwide, dedicated evolved packet core network with end-to-end encryption tools available. This is a major investment that will – for the first time ever – give us the separate, highly secure communications platform we require.
“Whether it’s during a routine call, an out of state transfer, a widespread disaster or even just a large event where a lot of people are gathered, FirstNet gives us the reliable connectivity we need to get to our patients and quickly connect with other local responders and hospital personnel,” added Quinones. “It provides us seamless communication with other public safety agencies and ultimately helps us to create a safer environment for our patients and our crewmembers.”
Just recently Hurricane Michael devastated communities along the gulf coast of Florida and throughout South Georgia. MetroAtlanta Ambulance deployed ambulance units to assist in the post evacuation of patients from Bay Medical Sacred Heart Hospital in Panama City, Fla. Using FirstNet, our crews were always in communications with our dispatch center in north Georgia as well as the transferring hospital in Panama City, Fla. With so many users trying to make cellular calls during that time, an open line of communication likely wouldn’t have been available without FirstNet.
“We’re committed to providing the communication resources needed every day and, especially, in times of emergency,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “FirstNet will help first responders in Georgia and across the country perform at the highest levels. We’re honored to play a part in that transformation and applaud MetroAtlanta Ambulance for helping lead the way.”
“FirstNet is the exclusive communications platform built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety – there is no substitution for this network that they fought for,” said Edward Parkinson, Acting CEO, FirstNet Authority. “We look forward to supporting MetroAtlanta Ambulance and all of Georgia’s public safety community with FirstNet, making sure it delivers what they need, when they need it.”
We’ve had a lot of great support in our transition to FirstNet. Plus, working with AT&T, subscribing to FirstNet was seamless. Our medics and ambulances are all now equipped with the game-changing technology.