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It’s Time to Upgrade 9-1-1, the Most Critical of Critical Infrastructure [Op-Ed]

Law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 professionals handle over 240 million emergency 9-1-1 calls per year. Our 9-1-1 system is the most critical of critical infrastructure – relied upon nationwide every day to obtain assistance in a variety of life-or-death situations. Unfortunately, 9-1-1 networks across the United States have not kept up with advances in communications technology and, in large part, are based upon technology dating back to the 1960s and limited to voice calls and some texting.

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BREAKING NEWS 

September 14, 2021

Nation’s Leading Public Safety Associations Applaud Inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 Legislation in House Budget Reconciliation Package

Washington, D.C. – Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 legislation in its Budget Reconciliation package. The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition thanks Chairman Frank Pallone, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Anna Eshoo for championing this once-in-a-generation investment in critical public safety infrastructure. The Coalition is also grateful to the many members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who have expressed support for this needed upgrade of 9-1-1 services throughout the country.

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March 18, 2021

Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Launches Major Grassroots Campaign

On the heels of the introduction of important legislation to fund the modernization of the nation’s 9-1-1 systems to Next Generation 9-1-1, the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition announces the launch of a wide-ranging grassroots campaign to educate policymakers and build additional support.

The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition consists of national public safety associations representing law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 professionals who know best what is needed to modernize 9-1-1 and improve emergency response. The coalition’s website at http://www.ng-911coalition.org contains detailed information including facts and myths about NG9-1-1 legislation.

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March 11, 2021 

Nationwide Public Safety Associations Hail Introduction of Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 as Part of the LIFT America Act

Under the leadership of the Honorable Frank Pallone Jr., Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Honorable Anna Eshoo, Co-Chair, Congressional NextGen9-1-1 Caucus,  the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 has been introduced as part of the LIFT America Act.

The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition applauds the introduction of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 as part of the LIFT America Act. The inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 in the legislation signals that Congress recognizes the critical importance of upgrading our nation’s outdated, underfunded  and technologically inadequate 911 infrastructure.

LIFT America Legislation

Public Safety Next Generation
9-1-1 Coalition

  • Diverse stakeholders representing public safety including fire service, emergency medical service, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 professionals.
  • United behind legislative principles that address the needs and concerns of public safety.
  • The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019 is the foundation upon which the Coalition will build.

First Principles of the Public Safety
NG9-1-1 Coalition:

  • NG9-1-1 should be technologically and competitively neutral, and use commonly accepted standards that do not lead to proprietary solutions that hamper interoperability, make mutual aid between agencies less effective, limit choices, or increase costs.
  • Development of program requirements, grant guidance, application criteria, and rules regarding NG9-1-1 grants should be guided by an advisory board of public safety practitioners and 9-1-1 professionals.
  • Sufficient funding in the amount of $15 billion to ensure NG9-1-1 is deployed throughout the country in an effective, innovative, and secure manner and to enable NG9-1-1 implementation training nationwide.
  • The process for allocating funds to localities should be efficient, federal overhead costs should be minimized, and grant conditions should not be onerous or extraneous and should be targeted to achieve important objectives including interoperability and sustainability.
  • Cybersecurity of NG9-1-1 systems should be a primary consideration.
  • Incentives for increased efficiency of NG9-1-1 functions, including through shared technology and regional collaboration, should be included.

Members of the Coalition Include:

  • Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)
  • National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO)
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA)
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO)
  • National Sheriffs’ Association
  • Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association