3 Ways First Responders Are Improving Their Communications Methods

With 80% of calls from cell phones happening indoors, reliable service is a big concern. This is especially true for first responders, who often need those communications to be solid in order to perform their important work. It’s therefore essential that first responder DAS is reliable. Missing a call could literally be a matter of life or death.

Improvements in first responder DAS has helped with reliability. This has enabled first responders to serve their communities better. In addition, the communities that first responders serve have made improvements either on their own or in conjunction with first responders to improve the safety of the entire community.

It isn’t just about being up to code, either. A DAS can include any wireless service that comes via an antenna system. This system needs to be incredibly effective when first responders arrive at a scene. A delay or disruption could mean injury or death for both first responders and the people they are trying to save.

Here are three ways first responders are improving their communications to help more people.

1. By Getting Cell Boosters

One of the best ways to improve reception is with a cell booster such as SureCall. These commercial cell boosters boost the likelihood that first responders will have service no matter where their duties end up taking them.

There are some boosters meant for non-commercial use. Plenty of people who aren’t first responders also seek out boosters to improve their day-to-day lives and to boost their signal within their own homes. This is essential for rural communities

A commercial booster will be stronger, in many cases. It has a more important function and is probably under heavier demand.

Some first responder cellular boosters can offer a boost of 10 times or more, for example. That could apply across all the various ways first responders need to communicate, as well. From voice to text to data transmission, every aspect of cell phone use is improved. It isn’t just about being able to make or receive a phone call in a moment of high tension. It’s also about transmitting information consistently and quickly.

There are many types of places where a first responder DAS will face heavy demand and need to offer reliability in return. It could be an elevator in a building, a skyscraper, a home, or a remote location like a mountainside. Boosters are particularly important for first responders because of the wide variety of scenarios that they may find themselves in. Getting service on the side of a mountain isn’t a concern for most people, but it could be absolutely crucial for first responders going into a search and rescue situation.

Americans make millions of calls to 9-1-1 every year and in all of those harrowing scenarios, first responders have to be ready and able to respond. Relying on a wireless network simply might not be enough in some situations, which is why many first responders are getting boosters to ensure they will be able to make vital communications during a tense moment.

2. By Limiting Interruptions in Service

One of the worst things that can happen during an emergency call is an interruption in the service that first responders rely on to communicate. There is a wide array of first responder wireless services, but the thing they all have in common is the ability to be interrupted.

This only gets more complicated when you factor in other means of communication. Wireless is one thing, but radio and cell phone towers also come into play when we think about service and disruptions. No matter how good your wireless signal is, if first responders are relying on radio signals in a remote area, that can lead to a disruption in communications.

The first responder DAS helps minimize interruptions in service. That’s because it is not just one first responder’s signal that is being relied on. The DAS is a network of first responders, which can mean there is a backup if one particular individual is having difficulty with service.

A critical component of this is the Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) system. This system helps re-amplify the DAS in a building or structure. This can be a huge help when first responders are in an area with poor reception.

Many first responders use an Emergency Responder Radio Communication System (ERRCS), which contains a BDA system. This helps improve communications and ensure the stability of the first responder DAS so that communication is clear and consistent. It also helps to minimize the possibility of interruptions to the service.

3. By Working Within Their Communities

One of the challenges first responder DAS systems face is that they are not simply about first responder communications. First responders and the systems they use are part of the wider community. However, taking that into account offers opportunities to improve communications systems and keep the community safer.

No matter where in the country you are located, there will be local, state, and national fire codes that can impact first responder DAS and general communications. In many cases, these codes can be helpful, ensuring that when buildings are designed they have sufficient radio coverage for first responders to use.

Still, it is helpful for first responders to know their local rules and ordinances. This not only could improve communications, but it could also build stronger bonds within the community. Keeping the community safe is in everyone’s interest, so the ability of first responders to communicate is actually a concern for the entire region.

There may even be opportunities for collaborative improvement. Perhaps a community is not aware that they have dead zones where communications can be difficult. This might incentivize them to invest in commercial wireless solutions that could ultimately benefit first responders as well as the wider community.

When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to test areas of your local community. It is better to find out now that there is a gap in coverage. It may be possible to work with your community to fix that gap now, but in the heat of a dangerous moment, first responders will simply have to get the job done.

Fortunately, many first responders have found opportunities by working with local communities. In general, people want first responders to have the best communications equipment they can, from the first responder DAS to wireless coverage to cell service in remote areas. Often communities can and will work together to patch up these gaps if they exist.

The Power of Communication

First responders have to go into some of the most dangerous and harrowing situations that humans tend to encounter. In these charged moments, effective and clear communication is invaluable. There are many challenges in this regard, from spotty coverage to outdated equipment.

Fortunately, first responders are working within and with their communities, as well as on their own, to ensure they have the best communications equipment possible. Through collaboration, information, and upgrades to equipment, first responders are protecting their communities better than ever. This is improving outcomes in some of the scariest scenarios people face in their everyday lives.

Accidents and injuries happen. Strong and reliable communication between first responders is one of the best ways to mitigate those unfortunate circumstances, however, and ensure the happiest possible outcome. First responders and their communities are investing heavily in this preferred outcome.