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NEW NETWORK: Public Safety Goes High Speed

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Public Safety is going high-tech with a new high-speed wireless network. It could change the way emergency crews respond to everything from natural disasters to a mass shooting. Tuesday, Iowa first responders demonstrated how the national network works.

“It's going to create a separate Public Safety Broadband network,” says Statewide Interoperability Coordinator Jim Bogner.

With a dedicated line, law enforcement won't have to compete with commercial networks during an emergency.

“If you have a tornado, you have some tragedy that occurs, of course you`re going to have those subscribers of all those commercial networks trying to use their phone,” says Bogner.

Once the system is up and running, one call to 911 will give you a coordinated response. Medics, firefighters, police and DOT workers responded to the simulated interstate crash during a blizzard. An EMT first on the scene used a new wireless monitor to relay information out in the field.

“It does three basic vital signs and they can take this out into the field and transmit this data wirelessly to any computer, Smartphone or tablet device,” says Greg Darrah with Athena GTX.

The smaller device takes a patient’s vitals and sends them to the emergency room via the network before they even get to the hospital.

“We enable the physician when they get them to see everything that the patient has done when they get there as opposed to us telling them or us writing down notes,” says Darrah.

“The public is going to benefit greatly because it will be a coordinated response,” says Bogner.

Congress set aside $7 billion for the national network. Iowa could get $1.96 million to develop the system in the next three to five years.