FirstNet satellite truck deployed in the field

An AT&T FirstNet satellite truck is deployed in the field to bolster responder cell phone service in an emergency.

AT&T announced this week that Jim Bugel will become president of its FirstNet unit, a nationwide communications network dedicated to public safety. The IAFF and AT&T-FirstNet have long partnered to bring state-of-the art digital and voice communications to fire fighters and other first responders.

“Jim Bugel has stood with the IAFF since we originally began lobbying for a dedicated spectrum to create a public safety network over 20 years ago,” said IAFF General President Edward A. Kelly. “He is the perfect choice to take FirstNet to the next level as well as advance the efforts for Next Generation 911 capabilities.

“We congratulate Jim on his appointment and look forward to our continued partnership with AT&T-FirstNet,” Kelly continued.

Bugel is 30-year telecom veteran who has specialized in emergency and mission-critical communications, emergency preparedness, cybersecurity, and disaster response. He headed AT&T’s successful effort to win the FirstNet contract in 2017 and supported 2012 legislation that created the FirstNet Authority.

He has partnered with the IAFF on disaster response deployments and ensured that labor has had a seat at the table as the FirstNet project has progressed.