First responders in Oneida and Herkimer Counties received a boost in wireless communications yesterday with the expansion of AT&T's FirstNet network. The new purpose built sites - one in the City of Rome and one at the Herkimer County border by the Hinkley Reservoir, gives public safety and first responders a prioritized wireless network that allows for uninterrupted wireless communication.

“The FirstNet network has made Oneida County a safer place," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. "Our partnership with AT&T has provided our first responders with fast and reliable communication that makes all the difference in serving the public and saving lives. We are also thankful for the immense investment they have made to improve the county’s mobile coverage and to bridge the digital divide for our residents.”

FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. An example of where the network can be utilized is at the Boilermaker road race. When thousands of people gather in one place they tend to use their cell phones and put stress on the communications system which can prevent or impede communications, including difficulty in making phone calls, sharing photos and live streaming. FirstNet allows public safety to communicate on a completely separate network which is not congested by the large crowds.

Get our free mobile app

Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo said the new network enhances public safety response. "With always-on priority, preemption and dedicated coverage, our first responders have access to a better, faster communications network that is essential in a time of crisis. AT&T’s push to talk service has become a vital part of our operations especially when our first responders may be outside of traditional cell coverage areas or public safety radio tower signals have a difficult time transmitting a signal especially in the outside district or the signal being unable to penetrate through concrete block buildings." she said.

11 Great Upstate New York Urban Parks

We have done a lots of posts over the years highlighting the various state and county (and national) parks that can be found in Upstate New York. This list is a little bit different.

Big cities and small towns, these are all worth a look!

Check Out Abandoned Dry Cleaner Building in Guilderland

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

It is believed this dry cleaner operated from the 1950's but has been closed since 1996. It's located on Western Avenue in Guilderland. Plans are underway to do an environmental cleanup on the property and redevelop it into apartments and commercial/retails space.

13 Small Upstate New York Towns That Put Their Claim to Fame on Their Welcome Signs!

For road warriors who like nothing better than to drive around the backroads and byways of Upstate New York exploring the region, there is nothing we like better than to come upon a small village or town that puts their claim to fame right up there on their "welcome sign." All of these 13 places do that. They are curious, historical, whimsical, and fascinating to those of us interested in Upstate history.

More From WIBX 950