Leon County deputies use new technology to improve 1st responder communication

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is showcasing new technology to help first responders communicate effectively, especially during natural disasters.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is showcasing new technology to help first responders communicate effectively, especially during natural disasters.

WCTV reporter Michelle Roberts was at LCSO’s headquarters Friday morning to check out the new equipment.

The new technology will help bring communication systems back up after a hurricane or other disaster knocks down cell phone and internet service. This will allow first responders to focus on public safety.

Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil said during 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, first responders experienced how difficult it is to respond without good communication technology.

Congress passed legislation, which the state has applied, allowing the first net equipment powered by AT&T to be available to first responders free of charge.

McNeil said these regional trucks and tech are an asset because they can be sent out before a storm strikes.

“Call FirstNet ahead of time, get them on standby... It’s a godsend for communities across America,” he said.

There’s a fleet of 150 FirstNet trucks ready to be deployed across the country. McNeil says FirstNet tech will be critical for rural communities, like Wakulla County, to help them get back up and operating with communication during and after hurricanes.

Members of the public with newer phones may also be able to connect to FirstNet to call 911, but first responders get first priority for the service.

This tech has already been used during the Surfside condo collapse, Kentucky tornadoes and wildfires out west.

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