Sonim Creates Public Safety Advisory Board to Focus on First Responder Needs

Feb. 18, 2015
Board to Highlight Emergency Communication Priorities, Work toward Assuring Deployment and Operation of FirstNet Band 14

SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Regardless of the emergency – be it a natural or man-made disaster, act of terrorism or any situation that requires immediate action – our nation's first responders answer the public's call for help. These brave firefighters, police officers, special operations and EMS men and women need immediate, reliable and interoperable communications to keep them and the public out of harm's way.

Sonim Technologies, one of only two Tier One smartphone OEMs based in the United States and the leader in providing communication solutions to people who work in extreme conditions, is dedicated to serving first responders in a secure, reliable and cost-effective manner.

As such, Sonim has formed a Public Safety Advisory Board to ensure that first responders have the best communications devices, applications, services and tools required to get their jobs done quickly and reliably. 

Sonim Technologies CEO Bob Plaschke said the goal of the Public Safety Advisory Board is to create and foster partnerships among public safety, government and private businesses, offering valuable insights and recommendations for providing first responders nationwide with a plan for "best practices."

Sonim today announced the founding members of the board, each of whom is a nationally recognized leader in his respective area. Each of these members has been intimately involved over the last decade in efforts to make The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) a reality, a major step toward ensuring that first responders have the best, interoperable and open broadband communications capabilities.

They are:

  • Raymond Flynn, who serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Advisory Board. Flynn retired as an Assistant Sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after 33 years with the agency, where he served as the third-highest-ranked officer. 
  • Richard R. Carrizzo, a public safety professional who has served as Fire Chief of a suburban Kansas City, Mo., department for the past 20 years and brings more than 33 years of experience in emergency response. Carrizzo is the Treasurer of the International Firefighters Association.
  • Charles F. Dowd, who retired as Assistant Chief of the New York City Police Department after 34 years. Dowd was in command of the New York City 911 center on September 11, 2001, the Northeast blackout in 2003 and during Hurricane Sandy. In 2012, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of The First Responder Network Authority.
  • Richard A. Mirgon, who has over 30 years of technology and first responder experience and is a past President for the Association of Public Safety Officials International (APCO) and was APCO's lead for the reallocation of the D Block spectrum to public safety.

"We are so excited about being a part of a group of leaders who were fundamental in making the FirstNet network a reality. Our team will be working closely with the board to bring in additional members who have the knowledge, experience and relationships to meet the high standards and critical needs of our first responders," said Plaschke.

"Ensuring that the FirstNet public safety broadband network launches is our collective priority. We're pleased to have Sonim support our efforts to make this critical network a reality," said Dowd.

"One of the first issues we as a board will address is how best to interact with the development of the FirstNet Band 14 first responder network," said Chief Carrizzo. 

The First Responder Network Authority has been designated by Congress to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment and operation of a nationwide public safety broadband network. The FirstNet group is currently considering network sustainability, priority testing and coverage during the initial stages of deployment.

"Sonim has been an active participant with public safety in the planning of mission-critical devices for public safety. It is this type of work by companies like Sonim that show there is a robust and meaningful industry that is focused on providing cost-effective solutions to public safety," said Mirgon.

Sonim is the first and only Tier One smartphone OEM that has released a commercially available smartphone platform that enables first responders to get broadband access on the FirstNet Band 14 wireless spectrum while also working on commercial networks like AT&T's. 

"Sonim has stepped up to build a hardened, mission-critical device that is cost effective and available off the shelf and supports both Band Class 14 and commercial wireless networks," said Flynn.   

Sonim Technologies ( is the provider of mission-critical solutions designed specifically for workers in extreme, hazardous and isolated environments. The Sonim solution includes ultra-rugged mobile phones, business-process applications and a suite of industrial-grade accessories, collectively designed to increase worker productivity, accountability and safety on the job site. Sonim's industry-leading, 3-year comprehensive warranty has redefined customer expectations of rugged technology. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., and offers its products with mobile operators around the world.

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