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Emergency Communication Networks

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

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How Your Phone Can Be Your Lifeline in an Emergency

Woman looking at her phone during a wireless emergency alert
You’ve probably received at least one emergency alert this summer, whether it was about curfews during the civil unrest or about staying safe from severe weather such as tornados or flash floods. The fact is that cell phones have become an important tool to communicate safety information to large parts of the public. 

Read our latest blog to find out who these wireless emergency alerts​ come from, what they mean, and what you should do when you receive one.​

Engaging COMLs and Communication Plans for Large Events

​As we approach November’s presidential election, the emergency communications community should be prepared for short-notice visits by political candidates. ECN has released a memo reminding that Statewide Emergency Communications Board (SECB) Event and Exercise Planning standard provides specific guidance for events that utilize ARMER resources and especially for those utilizing more than one statewide interoperability talkgroup.

A copy of the memo is available by clicking here​.

The Extra Demand on Wireless Broadband Networks During COVID-19

A firefighter holding a radio while standing near a fire truck

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic means we all have to find innovative ways to communicate with one another. The stay at home order has exponentially increased traffic volumes on wireless broadband networks. But first responders and others on the front lines also rely on wireless broadband. Fortunately, both Verizon and AT&T have a space on their networks dedicated specifically for use by our nation’s public safety responders. 

Learn more in this blog.

Minnesota 911 Dispatchers to Receive Private Health Data for Emergency Calls

​Under Gov. Walz’s Executive Order 20-34, Minnesota public safety answering points (PSAPs), or 911 dispatch centers, will be implementing a process to receive private health information for emergency calls. This data is identified as the address of every COVID-19 positive patient within the state. That information will be passed on to first responders—such as law enforcement, fire and EMS—so that they can protect themselves from potential COVID-19 exposure.

The Department of Public Safety worked with the Minnesota Department of Health and stakeholders to finalize the executive order
protocol and associated training materials for PSAPs and first responder organizations.

The departments also developed answers to frequently asked questions that have been raised since the executive order was issued.

Featured Video

Video Description: Call if you can, text if you can't. Learn about Text-to-911.