McCarty discusses how state’s decision to join FirstNet helps local first responders

By Gary Scott on December 19, 2017 at 1:19pm

Recently, Governor Bruce Rauner announced that Illinois would opt in to a nationwide network for first responders that is in partnership with AT&T.


This network is called FirstNet and aims to make connecting first responders much more easily no matter where they are. We spoke with Phil McCarty of Jacksonville EMS. He first explains what he knows about the FirstNet system:


“The FirstNet Network is a federal project that encompasses the ability for enhanced interoperability for responders in the data field and partnering in this case with AT&T so that first responders can have access to data and cellular coverage when we need it the most.”


McCarty tells us how this will affect his group of first responders:


“Emergency responders with classification once FirstNet is implemented will have priority service in the case of a disaster, we’ll still be able to have the cellular service and data sharing that we heavily rely on where the consumer servers will kind of be partitioned off.”


McCarty also explains what the impact will be on the local area now that this system is being used: The Governor announced that Illinois is going to opt in to determine what the long term is going to be, is yet to be determined, there still building it out across the country in some populous area and the impact will no doubt be positive for us but were still cautiously optimistic about that.”


For more information on the FirstNet system in the state you can visit