August 24, 2020
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
NPSTC Announces New Reports on Public Safety Communications
Important Work Continues Despite Pandemic
Important Work Continues Despite Pandemic
NPSTC committees and working groups have been busy all year discussing a variety of important topics that impact first responders and communications interoperability. Volunteer groups of subject matter experts have continued this work even as COVID-19 has shifted public safety agency priorities to deal with the pandemic. This month, NPSTC announces the publication of three new reports that deal with issues of importance to all public safety agencies. These reports assess the status of consoles that support Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT), the future state of public safety broadband for EMS and communications centers, and a comprehensive overview of Public Safety IoT issues and considerations. NPSTC is also announcing an update to the COVID-19 Operations Checklist designed for public safety agencies and communications centers.
This report provides an overview of selected technical and operational issues associated with the implementation of Mission Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT) using FirstNet, specifically focusing on consoles used by public safety agencies. New console technology will be required to access and control MCPTT features and capabilities. MCPTT consoles may exist in different form factors that are suitable for use in an ECC or at other fixed locations, including Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) and hospitals. Portable and transportable versions of MCPTT consoles will be needed to provide communications support at the scene of a large-scale tactical incident or during disaster operations including when cellular infrastructure is unavailable. The report highlights six important conclusions, including the need for first responders to understand the way MCPTT works and issues involving standards and interoperability. The LMR LTE Interoperability and Integration Working Group, led by Chris Kindelspire, spent 18 months studying this issue and the final report was recently approved by the Governing Board.
Emerging EMS Technology: Use Case Analysis of Broadband Capabilities to Support Operations and Patient Care
This report examines how public safety broadband may support new EMS patient care technologies through a review of five use cases involving medical emergencies. Each use case follows an emergency incident from the time of its occurrence through patient transport to the hospital. In many cases, IoT sensors will monitor a patient and transmit data directly to the Communications Center alerting them to the emergency. Voice, video and data are all used extensively to support patient care and agency operations. The report identifies multiple ways in which emerging technology may enhance both operational efficiency and the delivery of patient care while also highlighting many issues which must be addressed before full use of these systems is possible. The document cites the need for collaboration at all levels to create appropriate policy, procedure, and training while also looking at the impact of using common applications vs a set of disparate technologies. The EMS Working Group, led by Kevin McGinnis, held a series of expanded meetings over the past year to examine the complex issues surrounding use of broadband. The final report was recently approved by the Governing Board.
NPSTC and the National Association of State EMS Officials, Joint EMS Working Group has updated the comprehensive checklist of policy considerations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information has been revised to include recent updates from the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including new recommendations on employee quarantine and isolation. The appendix contains links to official information, policies from other agencies, and manufacturer cleaning recommendations. The link will download a Microsoft Word version of the checklist, allowing agencies the ability to customize the document to meet their needs.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of PSIoT technology and gives guidance to Public Safety and Information Technology agency executives as they assess the benefits and challenges of these services. This new report complements an earlier document, Public Safety Internet of Things (IoT) Use Case Report and Assessment Attributes, which was published in June 2019. Both reports highlight the emerging importance of sensor-based technology and the need for integration of systems and data. The Public Safety IoT Working Group, led by Barry Fraser, completed the outreach report earlier this year.
If you want to participate in the discussion of these, or other, issues and help develop the vision of public safety communications, please join the NPSTC committees and working groups that are of interest to you. Click here to view the list of active groups and use the easy online sign up process.