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FirstNet Authority, NIST announce keynote speakers, agenda for 5x5 public safety innovation summit


First Responder Network Authority


RESTON, Va. — Leading voices in public safety communications will keynote the 5x5: The Public Safety Innovation Summit this summer in Chicago. Summit hosts announced the speakers as part of an agenda that includes over 70 technology demonstrations and more than 40 plenaries and breakout sessions. This year’s 5x5 will take place June 25-27, 2024, at the Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park.

5x5 brings together leaders in public safety, academia, government, and industry to advance technologies for public safety communications and operations. The annual summit is co-hosted by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR).

5x5 keynote speakers will provide insights into the challenges first responders face and innovative ways to provide solutions for public safety, today and in the future. Key speakers include leaders in the field of public safety, including U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell and Chicago Police Department Lieutenant Jermaine Harris.

An expert in the fields of public safety and data science, Dr. Moore-Merrell was appointed U.S. Fire Administrator in 2021. She is a longtime advocate for collaboration and data-driven decisions.

A 21-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Lt. Harris develops community-based solutions to violence prevention by collaborating with law enforcement and nonprofit partners. “I am thrilled to welcome the best and brightest to Chicago for 5x5. This will be an energizing experience that will drive public safety communications forward,” said Lt. Harris. “Innovation and collaboration are the cornerstone to solving the challenging issues law enforcement faces today.”

“This year’s event is an exciting opportunity to drive technology innovations that can improve the safety and efficiency of first responders,” said FirstNet Authority Executive Director and CEO Joe Wassel. “Whether you’re a developer, a first responder, a researcher, or a forward-thinking entrepreneur, 5x5 in Chicago is where you want to be this June.”

“Everyone at 5x5 will have the chance to make powerful connections and discoveries that can help shape the future of public safety communications,” said PSCR Division Chief Dereck Orr. “We have strategically crafted an agenda that will connect public safety’s needs to key innovations in communications technology and help drive R&D forward.”

In addition to a lineup of influential speakers, 5x5 will deliver engaging and educational opportunities. This includes a session where innovator teams will pitch the use of drones for public safety applications to a panel of judges. Top government and industry executives from around the world will brief attendees on recent public safety technology advancements and unique challenges for their countries. Panel sessions will highlight advancements in augmented reality, cybersecurity, and AI for public safety, and much more.

Registration is now open!

About NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division within NIST’s Communications Technology Laboratory is the primary federal laboratory conducting research, development, testing and evaluation for public safety communications technologies. It addresses the research and development necessary for critical features identified by public safety entities beyond the current generation of broadband technology.

About the First Responder Network Authority

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Created in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X for updates.