FEDERAL, COUNTY AND CITY OFFICIALS UNIFY AND
ATTAIN $155 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY
A stalwart group of federal, county and city elected officials stood shoulder to shoulder in 100 degree heat to announce the award of a $154.6 million grant to the Los Angeles Regional Communications System (LA-RICS) Authority to develop and deploy the LA-Safety Net; a public safety broadband network. The LA-Safety Net will enhance communication between all emergency responders in the Los Angeles region.
Calling the communications grant “a big down payment on a safer future,” United States Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), joined by Los Angeles County Supervisors Gloria Molina, Mike Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky, Sheriff Lee Baca, Chief Executive Officer Bill Fujioka, Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other emergency service leaders, explained that the award was a vital first step toward the completion of the National Broadband System. Congresswoman Harman stressed that the grant would “dramatically enhance emergency services’ ability to react, respond, and rescue” through the use of interoperable communications.
Supervisor Yaroslavsky noted that emergency responders in the Los Angeles region are the acknowledged leaders nationally in coordinating and supplying mutual aid in times of crisis such as earthquakes and wildfires. “Now we also have mutual communication," he said. He added, “Now, we are really on our way.”
"The communications revolution has provided us with tools to change the way we live and work and this large investment puts much needed 21st century technology in the hands of the men and women we entrust every day with our lives," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "LA-Safety Net--a high-speed, cutting edge, wireless data network--will become an invaluable asset, whether in day to day operations or during emergency events, making the entire LA Region safer and more prepared than ever before." CEO Fujioka stated that despite the record heat, “It is a great day for all of us.”
The $154.6 million federal grant is the largest ever awarded to upgrade emergency services communications. The grant will affect more than 80 public safety agencies and approximately 34,000 first responders working within the over 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County. Emergency responders had long sought a solution to the problem of multiple agencies not being able to effectively communicate during the wide-ranging emergencies known to the area. Problematic cell phone usage and old-fashioned runners passing messages between command posts will be replaced by a new land mobile radio system (voice) being developed separately, as well as a new public safety broadband (data) system. The majority of funding for the broadband (data) system will come from this grant.
``Los Angeles County is home to 88 cities, 134 incorporated communities, 50 law enforcement agencies and 31 fire service agencies,'' said Supervisor Antonovich, ``this system will enable agencies to communicate across different jurisdictions with one voice.''
Echoing the theme of many of the speakers, Sheriff Baca stated “there are a lot of congratulations due to many of the people up here next to me. This grant shows that when we all work together, unified leadership can solve unifying problems.” Supervisor Molina hailed the grant as giving Los Angeles County “one communication system with one voice.”
The new LA-Safety Net that has now been funded, is the new public safety broadband (data) system:
· Enable computer-aided dispatch, rapid law-enforcement queries, real-time video streaming, medical telemetry and patient tracking, geographic information systems services for first responders, and many other broadband-specific applications.
· Law enforcement officers will be able to send and receive photos of suspects and transmit video to supervisors.
· Paramedics will be able to instantly transmit vital patient information to emergency room doctors.
· Firefighters will be able to send real-time fire video to a command post and incident commanders can automatically monitor the deployment of resources around a fire.
This network will be a significant step in improving the ability of first responders to protect the lives and property of our residents
1.Board of Directors- LA-RICS
2.(News Advisory-09/27) EXTRAORDINARY FEDERAL GRANT AWARDED FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS
3. (Fact Sheet) Los Angeles Public Safety Broadband Network: LA-SafetyNet Project – Comprehensive Community Infrastructure/Public Safety