Many public television stations have found that public safety is a natural extension of their public service mission. Stations provide diverse services to help public safety. Stations lease tower space, or produce training videos for first responders and pool feeds for local and state officials. Some stations have had fantastic results with using their spectrum to send encrypted messages to first responders. By providing these services and highlighting these unexpected ways that public television stations benefit local communities, stations can improve their case for public funding.
However, stations that have not implemented public safety programs often assume that the programs are expensive, complicated, and beset by bureaucratic hassles. While the respondents to our survey who have heard about programs at other stations are interested in datacasting and public alerting, many are unsure of how they can begin programs that can improve the safety of their own communities through public television
PBS is therefore implementing a six-month pilot program to assist station collaboration in devising, designing, and implementing programs in their communities that will:
Improve the public safety of their community and
Increase the awareness of public television stations as public safety resources
In order to bring about these goals, PBS will:
- Match interested personnel with experienced personnel at other public television stations
- Help station personnel who are interested in implementing public safety activities to find a roadmap based on existing programs
- Support collaboration
- A minimum of 6 meetings between mentor and mentee over the course of the six-month pilot program
- Collaborations among the full group of mentors and mentees
- A final presentation given by mentor and mentee via webinar
Applications will be accepted until July 15th, and matches between mentors and mentees will be made by mid-August.
Aaron Silverman | Communications Director | PBS WARN