CRANSTON, RI (WPRI) – In a disaster, communication is crucial.
That’s why the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and Governor Dan McKee announced on Tuesday that first responders will soon begin using breakthrough technology.
These “Compact Rapid Deployables” are mobile units that use satellite connectivity to ensure that first responders have access to cellular and Wi-Fi coverage wherever they are.
“During the tragic events of September 11, it was determined that due to the extraordinary use of cell phones critical messages from first responders were lost,” said RIEMA Director Marc Pappas. “The first responders will be given priority in the system so that they are heard before all the noise in the cell phone tower, even in remote areas like woods, it will work.”
Rhode Island is the first state to deploy the devices, which were provided free of charge by AT&T and FirstNet.
“Without a doubt, the past year and a half of COVID has underscored how important it is for our public safety officials and our heroes to have the best tools and resources possible,” added Patricia Jacobs, region president. north of AT&T.
The company behind the technology, FirstNet, has also started a pet therapy program. They have 30 dogs stationed across the country, including Rhode Island, which can be deployed during crisis events to support the mental and physical health of first responders.