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Contract Allows Responders to Sign up For Dedicated Wireless Broadband

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If you’ve ever tried to use your cell phone in an emergency or during a large event, you know service can be spotty or non-existent. Now imagine being a first responder and having to send and receive information over those same networks.

That’s why the State of Minnesota finalized a contract with FirstNet and AT&T. The pair will build and deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network across Minnesota. Public safety agencies who sign up for the dedicated service will receive priority and preemption in an emergency, which means they’ll be able to get critical mission-driven information when it’s needed most. Learn more in our news release here.  


A major milestone: 911 turns 50!

Phone that made the first 911 call in the United StatesIt’s a lifeline we’ve come to depend on. There are entire generations of Americans that can’t remember a time before 911 was available. As young children, we were taught how to dial those three numbers when we needed help. And today, public safety across the nation are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call. The historic event happened in Haleyville, Alabama. And in the years that followed, the service became available nationwide.

Since then, 911 technology has evolved in Minnesota with a focus on keeping up with the technology at our fingertips as well as meeting the needs of the public. That is why Minnesota has become an early adopter of Next Generation 911 technology such as:


Read more about the history of 911 in Minnesota.


The 411 on Minnesota’s Wireless and Emergency Alerts

John Dooley answers questions about IPAWS

When an emergency happens in Minnesota, it’s the responsibility of public safety officials to inform the public right away. The goal? To get the right information to the right people at the right time so they can make the right decisions. Minnesota counties, tribal nations and even the state accomplish this task through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Alerts on your cell phone are called wireless emergency alerts (or WEA) and alerts on the radio or TV are part of the emergency alert system (or EAS). Both are notifications sent by counties, tribal nations or the state through IPAWS.

Learn more about Minnesota’s system and how safeguards could prevent a false alarm from happening here.