The public safety and first responder community received a boost as Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank rounded out the 15-member board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet will be responsible for shaping and overseeing the development and deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.
FirstNet was established earlier this year to shepherd the deployment of a nationwide public safety network, which has languished over the past decade following calls for such a network in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The board consists of three permanent members, and 12 members chosen by the Secretary of Commerce. The permanent members are the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (currently Acting Director Jeffrey Zients).
Appointed members to the board include:
–Tim Bryan, CEO of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative.
–New York City Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Dowd.
–F. Craig Farrill, telecommunications executive.
–Paul Fitzgerald, sheriff of Story County, Iowa.
–Samuel Ginn, telecommunications executive, and selected to serve as FirstNet’s chairman of the board.
–Jeffrey Johnson, retired fire chief; CEO of the Western Fire Chiefs Association and former Chair of Oregon’s State Interoperability Council.
–William Keever, telecommunication executive.
–Kevin McGinnis, Chief/CEO of North East Mobile Health Services.
–Ed Reynolds, retired telecommunications executive.
–Susan Swenson, telecom executive.
–Teri Taki, former CIO of the states of Michigan and California.
–Wellington Webb, former mayor of Denver.
The board members are limited to 2 three-year terms. The inaugural board’s terms will be staggered: four members will serve one year, four will serve two, and another four will serve the full three years. Three board members will represent the interests of states, territories, tribes and local jurisdictions. Three must have served as public safety professionals.
According to FirstNet’s recruiting prospectus, the board is expected to meet more frequently than its once-a-quarter minimum as its activities begin. Members will be paid on a per-day basis, using a federal scale that would pay a full-time employee approximately $155,000 per year; however, they are expected to spend less than 60 days per year working on FirstNet-related activities.