Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Co-chair of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, is emphasizing the important role of Next Generation 9-1-1 after an unprecedented amount of video and photos from smartphone users were used by law enforcement officials to help identity suspects in the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. Eshoo's comments come with the release of a GAO report examining states' collection and use of 9-1-1 funds for enhanced emergency services.
"The GAO report shows states are making good use of funds to implement enhanced 9-1-1 services that can pinpoint the location of emergency callers," said Rep. Eshoo, who requested the report. "But it also shows we are still in the early phases of implementing Next Generation 9-1-1--technology that gives 9-1-1 call centers the ability to receive text, photos and video directly from bystanders at the scene of an emergency."
"First responders in Boston did not hesitate and, without question, saved lives," Eshoo continued. "We owe it to them and to the public to ensure the best possible emergency response technology is being utilized."
The GAO report was required as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which was signed into law during the 112th Congress. Part of the Act was a successful effort by Eshoo to authorize $115 million in federal funding to state and local public safety entities for Next Generation 9-1-1 technology.