Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) issued the following statement today welcoming April as National 9-1-1 Education Month:
"9-1-1 continues to be America's best known number and our most often used public safety tool," said Rep. Eshoo. "Our local 9-1-1 call centers are on the front lines making sure that emergency information is delivered quickly and accurately to first responders. So as advancements in technology usher in new tools that expand the way we call in emergencies, it's important that people know how to utilize them. This month we can make it a point to raise public awareness, especially about Next Generation 9-1-1 technology that, in the coming years, will give local call centers the capability to receive text messages, photos, and video from people at the scene of an emergency. In life threatening situations, this enhanced information is vital to first responders."
The month of April was first recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2008 as National 9-1-1 Education Month, building on the efforts of the National 9-1-1 Education Coalition, an alliance of 8 national organizations dedicated to advancing public safety communications. The organizations joined together to advance 9-1-1 education across the country. In recognition of National 9-1-1 Education Month, the group is urging local events such as school outreach, street fairs featuring first responders and their equipment, and distribution of 9-1-1 educational materials throughout the month of April.
In addition and through the efforts of Rep. Eshoo, the payroll tax extension signed into law in February 2012 provides $115 million in grants to state and local public safety entities to support implementation and operation of 9-1-1 services, including migration to Next Generation 9-1-1. This improved system will enable the delivery of text messages, pictures, and video to 9-1-1 call centers across the country. Last year, Reps. Eshoo and Shimkus introduced H.R. 2629, the Next Generation 9-1-1 Advancement Act of 2011, which would have accomplished the same goals.