First Responders to Receive Free FirstNet “Groundbreaking Tech”


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On Tuesday, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and Gov. Dan McKee announced that first responders would receive “groundbreaking technology.” WPRI-TV reported that the tech – “Compact Rapid Deployables” (CRD) – are mobile units that use satellite connectivity to provide cellular and WiFi coverage anywhere. Rhode Island is the first state to deploy the services, provided at no cost by AT&T and FirstNet. 

According to RIEMA Director Marc Pappas, “First responders will be prioritized in the system so they will be heard above all of the noise in the cell tower, even in remote areas like the woods, it will work.”  

CRD is an official FirstNet deployable and generates an area of FirstNet cellular and WiFi coverage “anytime and anywhere,” according to FirstNet. Essentially a Cell-On-Wheels, the CRD can be deployed by a single person within minutes, wherever needed. 

Its features include:

  • FirstNet cellular range up to 1/2 mile
  • High-speed satellite internet
  • WiFi range up to 1,000′
  • Weatherproof and NEMA 4 compliant
  • FirstNet Ready™ router
  • Rapid deployable, single person set up in under seven minutes
  • Rolls through standard ADA doorways
  • Deliverable by helicopter

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