1. All 50 states opt in to FirstNet
All 50 states, two territories and Washington, D.C. opted into the FirstNet network before the 12/31/17 deadline.
In the current age of hyper-partisanship and strong belief in local practices this is a remarkable accomplishment and sign of good things to come for FirstNet.
“With every state saying `yes’ to the FirstNet plan, America’s first responders now have a nationwide interoperable network they can rely on 24/7/365 – like their mission,” First Responder Network Authority Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth said.
For first responders 2018 should bring “FirstNet-approved mobile apps, fully-encrypted public safety data and public safety community engagement.”
2. Optimal shift length for public safety
More and more police departments in Minnesota are transitioning from 8- to 10-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts. Longer shifts means fewer work days and more time off.
“It’s becoming more commonplace in law enforcement,” said Lt. Brian Tholen of the Edina Police Department. “It’s nice to have the time for officers to go home and spend quality time with their family.”
EMS agencies are going in both directions. I regularly hear anecdotes of agencies switching from a 24-hour schedule to 12-hour shifts and I hear anecdotes of EMS agencies, often fire department based, going from 24-hour to 48-, 72- or 96-hour shifts.
3. Benjamin F’ing Franklin
Fun tribute song to Benjamin Franklin from Hamildrops by The Decemberists. Franklin is known for many amazing accomplishments, including founding the Union Fire Company. Rom Duckworth wrote about Franklin’s lessons for first responders.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
(Warning NSFW lyrics)