Fresenius Medical Care North America Joins FirstNet – America’s Public Safety Communications Platform
With the Start of Hurricane Season, Dedicated Communications Platform Will Help Ensure Patients Maintain Access to Life-Sustaining Dialysis Treatment During Natural Disasters
WALTHAM, Mass. – June 25, 2019 – Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading renal care company, is approved to join FirstNet – a new communications platform just for public safety. This new communication system will help ensure FMCNA employees stay connected during a natural disaster or emergency, allowing them to continue providing life-sustaining access to dialysis treatment for patients with kidney failure.
FirstNet is designed to improve communications across public safety entities nationwide – including healthcare providers that provide lifesaving services. This allows first responders and healthcare providers, like FMCNA, to easily and quickly communicate with one another during disasters and emergencies. With FirstNet, FMCNA’s Disaster Response Team and care providers will have access to reliable connectivity, so they can communicate with first responders and each other as they coordinate rescues and treatments inside a disaster zone.
“We are proud to be one of the first private healthcare providers to join the FirstNet communications platform,” said Bob Loeper, Vice President for Operations Support and Disaster Response at FMCNA. “During any disaster situation, we must have reliable and accurate communications to coordinate directly with first responders and our staff. Every hour counts for patients who depend on life-sustaining dialysis, so this network will help ensure we can always deliver high-quality care even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.”
In recent years, FMCNA’s Disaster Response Team has responded to support patients and employees and reopen dialysis centers quickly in the wake of numerous hurricanes, as well as the California wildfires. The 2019 hurricane season began earlier this month, and should a disaster strike, FMCNA is ready to open its doors to any patient in need of dialysis regardless of their usual provider.
FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). It’s designed with and for public safety.
FMCNA joins FirstNet as an extended primary user – organizations and agencies that could be called on to help support public safety during emergency response. Eligibility for extended primary user status is rigorously reviewed before service will be approved to help ensure that FirstNet’s unique capabilities remain dedicated to first responders and those who support them.
“We’re honored that Fresenius Medical Care has chosen FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities,” said Stacy Schwartz, Vice President, AT&T – Public Safety & FirstNet. “FirstNet will help FMCNA better coordinate their response efforts as they support dialysis patients who are some of the most vulnerable during a disaster or other emergency situation.”
“FirstNet is the exclusive nationwide network being built with AT&T for public safety, inspired by public safety,” said Edward Parkinson, Acting CEO, FirstNet Authority. “We look forward to supporting Fresenius Medical Care with the broadband capabilities they need to ensure patient safety and access to care during emergency situations.”
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs and urgent care centers, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated healthcare services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world’s largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com.