SFD using satellite truck to ensure no emergency calls get dropped

SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 200,000 people are expected to be in downtown Spokane for Hoopfest. That’s millions of text messages, phone calls, and people streaming on TikTok…and all those people are sharing the same cell towers, including our first responders.

The Spokane Fire Department uses its cell phones to dispatch crews to emergencies, track each other’s locations and stay informed. It’s not uncommon during events like these that some of those calls get dropped.

That lost time could make a huge difference during an emergency, so the department is on the First Alert network, a separate network from the building, that makes sure first responders have priority in receiving calls.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says that hasn’t been enough, and for the first time ever, the fire crews brought in a satellite truck.

“In preparation and in recognition of all those after actual reports that said communication can be and has been a problem, First Net is helping us provide a solution to that,” Chief Schaeffer said.

The First Net satellite truck will be parked at Station 4 in Browne’s Addition. Starting tomorrow and through the weekend, it will be activated to provide that extra signal boost.

Schaeffer says they will use this resource if need be, as long as it is free to the Spokane Fire Department, which as of now, it is.

READ: ‘We’re ramping up’: Law enforcement officers out in full force for Hoopfest weekend