Johnstown (PA) received an upgrade to its AT&T tower service as part of a public-private partnership with FirstNet. The Tribune-Democrat reported that AT&T “switched on two new sites” in underserved areas. The improved coverage will give “emergency responders a cell phone coverage boost needed to communicate when incidents occur,” officials for the carrier said in a press release.
According to Northern EMS Commander Robert Haddad, the improved coverage will fix dead zones in the area. “If someone’s having a heart attack in that area, the ability to communicate and quickly send data, such as EKG readings to a hospital, might mean the difference between taking a patient to the ER or straight to the cath lab to receive immediate care. It can allow us to save time and save lives,” he said.
AT&T Pennsylvania President David Kerr said the upgrade would also benefit residents. “Pennsylvanians are relying on mobile broadband service more each day. That’s why we continue to build out our network across the Commonwealth,” Kerr said. “These new sites will give our first responders, families, and businesses in the area more access to the mobile broadband connections that are so important to the safety, vibrancy, and competitiveness of the region.”
A new tower was constructed at Gallitzin State Forest along the Bedford/Somerset County border. Another site along Route 653 between Rockwood and New Centerville was an upgrade to an existing shared tower, according to an AT&T spokesperson.
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