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On-demand webinar: How connectivity empowers rural fire agencies with greater operational efficiency and increased situational awareness

Find out how one rural fire department went mobile and improved communication among its volunteers and the department’s situational awareness

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Fire departments across the country are benefiting from mobile technologies, most often smartphones and tablets, because they result in connected first responders. For fire services, going mobile allows for better command and control. For EMS, mobile technology can dramatically improve patient care.

Some of the biggest challenges in delivering public safety services can be found in rural areas where first responders are often challenged with limited cellular coverage. Such was the case with the Hampton Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department (HVF VFD) in Tennessee. Frustrated by their existing cellular coverage, the agency contacted T-Mobile for Government about trying out devices and services after hearing about Connecting Heroes, a private-public partnership offered by T-Mobile to supply free, subsidized, and low-cost smartphone connectivity and technology assistance to state and local first responder agencies. The HVF VFD moved forward with the program and now the agency can more effectively engage and direct approximately 40 volunteers. In addition, each firetruck is now equipped with a smartphone that runs ATAK (Android Team Awareness Kit), a powerful situational awareness tool that provides location of personnel and facilitates coordination of resources during a critical incident.

Watch to learn

  • How HVF VFD was able to cost-effectively roll out a full deployment of smartphones and leverage going mobile as a powerful force multiplier for the agency.
  • How Connecting Heroes is helping first responder agencies around the country establish mobile connectivity and do it cost-effectively.
  • How Connecting Heroes provides priority access and preemption capabilities at no cost to agencies like HVF VFD after helping them register for Wireless Priority Service, a DHS program that assures priority access across carrier networks.



Speakers from left to right, Amos Halava, Amy Sinnott, Stuart Campbell, and moderator Dale Stockton

Amos Halava has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 22 years and has served in the positions of firefighter, captain, assistant chief, and fire chief. His recent fire department duties have included the implementation of the Team Awareness Kit (TAK) for the upper-east Tennessee region. TAK is used as a situational awareness tool for all first response disciplines. He was also instrumental in expanding the utilization of smartphones for the agency. In addition to his work as a volunteer firefighter, Amos has been a full-time law enforcement officer for 19 years, serving as a deputy for the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.

Amy Sinnott enjoyed thirty years of service in law enforcement, retiring in May of 2021 as Captain from the West Palm Beach Police Department. She spent six years with the Delray Beach Police Department before joining West Palm Beach for the next 24. Her first 23 years were in operations: Patrol, Narcotics, Homicide and Special Victims Investigations, Entertainment District, and Traffic. Her final assignment with the City was as the Administrative Services Captain, which included IT, Finance, Grant Applications and Reporting, Records, Facility Maintenance and Logistics. She attended Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, and Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

Stuart Campbell oversees the Wireless Priority Service (WPS) program relationship with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is tasked with managing and reducing risk to the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure. He works closely with public safety agencies across the country to ensure they are properly enrolled in the WPS program, thus assuring priority access to the T-Mobile network as well as cross-carrier priority. Stuart is a member of CISA’s Service Provider Council and manages the Network Service Verification Testing program to ensure WPS is available 24/7 for first responders who are T-Mobile customers. Stuart has a Master of Arts in Organization Leadership from Eastern University and is a US Navy veteran.


Dale Stockton is a 32-year veteran of law enforcement, having worked in all areas of police operations and investigations and retiring as a police captain from Carlsbad, California. He is a graduate of the 201st FBI National Academy and holds a master’s degree in Criminology from the University of California, Irvine. He has presented best practice workshops in the use of technology on behalf of both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Institute of Justice. He is the founder and past executive director of Below 100, a nonprofit national training program dedicated to driving down line-of-duty police deaths. Dale is the managing partner of Public Safety Insight, a consulting firm that advises public safety agencies and vendors. He is the current chairman of the Spirit of Blue Foundation’s board of directors.