The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, comprised of stakeholders from every discipline within the public safety community, is committed to advancing legislation to enable a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1.
Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2020 [DRAFT]
March 11, 2021
Washington, D.C.—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Generation 9-1-1 in the legislation signals that Congress recognizes the critical importance of upgrading our nation’s outdated, underfunded and technologically inadequate 911 infrastructure.
This legislation would authorize significant Federal resources to ensure that all communities in the United States, be they rural, urban or tribal, will have a secure, resilient, interoperable, and reliable way of receiving, processing, and responding to requests for emergency assistance.
The Major County Sheriffs of America, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, National Association of State EMS Officials and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International all strongly support this 9-1-1 legislation.
We thank House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone and Congressional Next Gen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Anna Eshoo for their tireless efforts to help build the capacity of our nation’s first responders to serve and protect all communities across America.
We urge all members of Congress to support this critical public safety infrastructure provision within the LIFT America Act.
Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Upgrade America’s 9-1-1 Infrastructure
A new coalition representing diverse public safety stakeholders and 9-1-1 professionals is urging Congress to pass legislation that enables a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1.
The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, comprised of stakeholders from every discipline within the public safety community including the fire service, emergency medical service, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 professionals, is committed to advancing legislation that enables a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1. The Coalition has united behind legislative principles that will address the needs and concerns of public safety.
Next Generation 9-1-1 will enable first responders and 9-1-1 professionals to utilize voice, text, data, and video to better respond to calls for emergency assistance in the way the public expects today. Congress should pass legislation that provides the resources needed to help local and state governments upgrade this essential critical infrastructure.
The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Anna Eshoo and John Shimkus in the House, and by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Catherine Cortez Masto in the Senate, is a foundation upon which the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition seeks to build.
To ensure successful implementation of a much-needed nationwide upgrade, the Coalition is calling for the following principles to be incorporated as part of NG9-1-1 legislation:
- 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.
Leaders representing public safety organizations that are part of the coalition provided the following quotes:
Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Oakland County (MI) Sheriff’s Office
Vice President of Government Affairs of the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA):
“This robust group of organizations which represent all aspects of the public safety community has come to consensus on what our country needs to upgrade, secure, and modernize our outdated and aging 9-1-1 infrastructure. The work done by this coalition will dramatically change and improve the way 9-1-1 operates every time someone calls for help in their time of need. We appreciate the work being done by Congress to ensure this legislation is passed in a thoughtful and timely manner.”
Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Police Department
President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA):
“Our nation is in critical need of an upgrade to our 9-1-1 infrastructure and as part of the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, the Major Cities Chiefs Association has worked extensively with our public safety colleagues to develop legislative principles that provide the resources needed for a nationwide upgrade. Effective public safety communication is essential to the safety and security of our communities and first responders. Unfortunately, there are insufficient state and local funds to cover the cost of the much-needed upgrade. Through commonly accepted standards, incentives, and an informed approach to grant making, our first responders and 9-1-1 professionals will be better equipped to handle and respond to 21st century demands.”
Chief Richard Carrizzo
President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC):
“Next Generation 9-1-1 offers a great opportunity for local fire, EMS and law enforcement to better provide service to their communities. Because of the cost and scale of NG 9-1-1 deployment, we will require federal assistance. These principles provide for the scope required for a nationwide initiative, while ensuring the input of local first responders which are the end users of a NG 9-1-1 system.”
Chief Steven Casstevens,
President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP):
“The IACP joins public safety stakeholders across the country in calling for Congress to pass legislation that would provide the resources needed to upgrade 9-1-1 systems infrastructure, so that police and the rest of the public safety community can better serve the people we were sworn to protect. 9-1-1 systems are critical infrastructure, that desperately need upgrading to enhance interoperability and emergency response assistance.”
Kyle L. Thornton
President of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO):
“This initiative will build, along with FirstNet, the interoperable framework EMS needs to meet the medical emergency challenges the country faces now and for the foreseeable future.”
Sheriff David Mahoney, Dane County (WI) Sheriff’s Office
President of the National Sheriffs’ Association
“The Nation’s Sheriffs support NG9-1-1 legislation that allows us to save others while providing for a safer environment for First Responders nationwide by modernizing law enforcement communications. The ability to share voice, text, data and video between public safety and dispatch centers regardless of size or location will greatly enhance our ability to respond to events and improve lifesaving services.”
President of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO):
“9-1-1 professionals across the country would greatly benefit from Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to carry out their life-saving missions. We were pleased to collaborate with our partner public safety associations on legislative language that will best ensure that Next Generation 9-1-1 is implemented in an interoperable, competitive, innovative, and secure manner.”