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Local 9-1-1 Professionals Meet with Federal Policy Makers to Shape the Future of 9-1-1

Date: 2014-03-26
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NENA Members Call on Congress to Enact New Legislation

Nearly 200 9-1-1 leaders from across the nation are gathering in Washington, DC, this week to discuss emergency communications issues with top policy makers.  The annual event, known as 9-1-1 Goes to Washington, brings members of NENA, The 9-1-1 Association, to the nation’s capital to educate lawmakers about the various challenges faced by local 9-1-1 call centers, which answer more than 600,000 emergency calls per day.   

Specifically, the 9-1-1 community will be calling upon their local members of Congress to request their help with several policy priorities, including:

  • Passing comprehensive legislation to ensure that Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) in hotels, dormitories, and offices provide direct and effective access to 9-1-1;
  • Moving 9-1-1 funding up the funding “waterfall” established by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, on par with Public Safety Broadband, which would accelerate needed funding for 9-1-1 upgrades without authorizing or appropriating any new money; and
  • Ensuring equality of access to federal grant programs so that 9-1-1 centers can compete for funds on an equal basis with their law, enforcement, fire, and EMS colleagues.

Interest in the MLTS legislation to guarantee more effective access to 9-1-1 has surged since the 2013 murder of Kari Hunt, who was killed in a Texas motel room while her daughter tried and failed to contact 9-1-1 because she didn’t know she had to dial a “9” to get a dial tone.  Numerous lawmakers have called for passage of a “Kari’s Law,” and NENA has developed model legislation.  State governments haven’t moved on the MLTS issue since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called on them to act more than 10 years ago.

For more information see http://www.nena.org/

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via NENA, 3/24/14)

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