Smart Public Safety is a growing concern in smart cities. Between cyber threats, an increase in domestic terrorism and new threats emerging every day from old sources and new unintended consequences from technology, public safety in the smart city space is taken very seriously by the City of Mesa. The City is also looking for ways to leverage new emerging technologies to provide a safer physical, as well as cyber, environment for Mesa's citizens, businesses and visitors.
Project FirstNet is a dedicated high-speed, nationwide communications network that provides first responders exclusive access to bandwidth and prioritized connectivity during emergency situations. Mesa is the first municipality in the state to pilot connecting FirstNet to P25 Radio systems to further increase the usefulness of this new network. The TOPAZ Regional Wireless Cooperative, for which the City is the Administrative Manager, connected their Project 25-compliant Public Safety radio network to the FirstNet and Verizon networks to extend the push-to-talk capabilities of the Public Safety voice radio network to cellular devices used by law enforcement, fire, and Emergency Medical Services personnel.
Benefit to the City This dedicated network ensures that our first responders will not be impacted by high cellular volume during large events or critical incidents. The push-to-talk capabilities allow first responders to use cell phones as two way radios, allowing for quicker and more efficient communication. FirstNet was leveraged at the City's Celebration of Freedom event July 4, 2019, where tens of thousands of residents on mobile devices caused zero interference with public safety personnel communications. `
Current Status All FirstNet phones have been rolled out to staff and integration with the TOPAZ network is complete. The Integration with the P25 radio network is a future activity that we look forward to implementing as soon as it’s available.
NFORS, National Fire Operations Reporting System, is a product of IPSDI, International Public Safety Data Institute, which helps our public safety departments to gather, organize, and translate data to improve how we evaluate risks, deploy resources, and respond to emergencies. Firefighter and civilian safety is improved through consistent and quality data. NFORS modules assess the impact of response availability, capability, and operational effectiveness on the 'outcome' of a fire or other emergency, an optimal 'outcome' minimizing firefighter injury and death, civilian injury and death, and property loss.
NFORS allows the City to monitor and improve our service delivery. NFORS analytics is actively making people safer by giving Mesa Fire and Medical Dept the insights they need to place resources where they are most needed. The City can monitor performance, including call processing, alarm handling, turnout time, and more in real-time. By knowing where our resources are dispatched the most, we can respond more efficiently.
Firefighters can also review the data, especially in cases of hazardous materials exposures (symptoms of which may not show up for years), to validate that they were on a scene where exposures occurred. In some cases, they may have been exposed to something that was not known to be hazardous at the time, but are able to verify that they were present once a substance has been identified as hazardous or dangerous in the long term. This will allow us to ensure that our first responders are getting the appropriate follow-up care.
Incident information is currently being shared daily with IPSDI. The process is automated. The data includes all incident information (excluding patient information). Incident information including dispatch reason, incident type, actions taken, and times are being captured, minus protected patient/privacy information. The data is being used to make “Smart” data-driven decisions to ensure Mesa Fire and Medical Department is working the most effectively and efficiently for Mesa’s Citizens, Businesses and Visitors.