For Immediate Release Contact: Carla A. Anderson
March 11, 2008 Phone: 202.498.6936
E-mail: carla@e911institute .org
Congress Endorses National 9-1-1 Education Month
Washington, D.C., — The U.S. House of Representatives last night, by a vote of 381-0, passed H. Res. 537 recognizing the importance of 9-1-1 education and directing the Administration to establish a National 9-1-1 Education Month. The resolution, sponsored by Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and John Shimkus (R-IL) and 56 House co-sponsors, puts Congress behind a national effort by seven national organizations dedicated to advancing public safety.
The seven organizations that have joined together to advance 9-1-1 education are:
* the E9-1-1 Institute;
* the National Emergency Number Association (NENA);
* 9-1-1 For Kids;
* the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA);
* the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO);
* CTIA The Wireless Association; and
* COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance.
Each of the groups recently adopted similar resolutions establishing April as National 9-1-1 Education Month. They are calling upon public safety officials, schools, government officials, and industry leaders to engage in a national effort to educate children, seniors, and the general public about the importance of, and appropriate use of, 9-1-1. During the month of April, these organizations will conduct special outreach to build on existing state and local 9-1-1 education efforts in an attempt to raise the issue of 9-1-1 education to a national level. The groups praised the efforts of Representative Eshoo and Representative Shimkus for their consistent bi-partisan leadership in passing the resolution.
“9-1-1 is a life-saving service that everyone should know how to use, especially children and senior citizens,” said Eshoo. She added: “I’m very proud to have these dedicated national organizations join with me to expand 9-1-1 education for all Americans.”
“While most people know to call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, said Shimkus, not everyone is aware of the limitations of the system given the expanding variety of wireless devices we all use and the variations in service by location. Ensuring that 9-1-1 callers know when and how to use the 9-1-1 system must be a priority.
We can never do enough to educate the public about 9-1-1. The commitment of this impressive coalition of public safety and industry to dedicate time and effort to advance 9-1-1 education will help save lives and will produce a significant return on whatever effort is made, said Gregory L. Rohde, Executive Director of the E9-1-1 Institute. He said that in addition to school-based activities, there could be conferences and training events for parents, teachers, care-givers that bring together the public safety community and industry leaders in a common effort.
“In todays rapidly changing communications landscape, we cannot underestimate the importance of better educating the public and managing public expectations about the ever evolving 9-1-1 system. We are pleased to join all of these groups in support of this important resolution to promote much needed increased 9-1-1 education efforts,” said NENA President Jason Barbour, ENP.
“We are chartered to educate children on how to summon Public Safety services. This month will underscore that need and highlight the activities to accomplish that end. It will also emphasize the overall effort to educate our entire Nation in this vital task, properly calling 911. We are pleased and honored to be a part of this undertaking,” said Elise Kim, the Executive Director of 911 for Kids.
NASNA looks forward to working with our communities in each of the states to develop the materials and presentations that will be useful. This is part of our mission, said Richard Taylor, President of NASNA.
APCO members are on the front lines of emergency calls every day, said Willis Carter, APCO President. Our nations 9-1-1 telecommunicators are challenged daily and an educated 9-1-1 calling public makes their job easier and ensures positive outcomes for all parties involved. We think this is a tremendous idea and we are very pleased to be a part of it.
The commercial wireless industry plays a uniquely important role in transmitting emergency calls, and helping public safety locate people needing help, said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent, We support the effort to educate Americans about the value of 9-1-1 service and look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the numerous dedicated organizations in the public safety community.
Modernizing 9-1-1 is the key to an overall informed emergency system, said David Aylward, Director of COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance, whose 100 organizational members advocate for advanced response using the latest technologies and procedures. With advanced communications technologies and a changing landscape for the 9-1-1 system come a need for increased education, added Aylward.
About the E9-1-1 Institute. The E9-1-1 Institute, www.e911institute. org, is a not-for-profit organization, which provides administrative and policy support to the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus. The purpose of the E9-1-1 Institute is to promote pubic education and awareness of E9-1-1 and emergency communications issues and serve the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus as a clearinghouse of information on E9-1-1 and emergency communications issues. Gregory L. Rohde, former Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, serves as the E9-1-1 Institutes Executive Director.
About NENA. NENA is The Voice of 9-1-1. NENA promotes implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 as North Americas universal emergency number. NENA is the leading professional non-profit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. NENA serves its nearly 7,000 members in 48 chapters across the U.S., Canada and Mexico through policy advocacy, establishment of technical and operational standards, certification programs and a broad spectrum of educational offerings. Find out more at www.nena.org.
About APCO. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International
is the worlds oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. APCO International serves the professional needs of its 15,000 members worldwide by creating a platform for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate, maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.apcointl. org.
About NASNA. NASNA, the National Association of State Nine One One (9-1-1) Administrators, www.nasna911. org, is a not-for-profit organization, representing those states with a central 9-1-1 planning or administrative authority. NASNA serves its membership through the sharing of technical, operational and legislative information and assists in the coordination of implementing of 911 emergency systems.
About CTIA. CTIA-The Wireless Association, is an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio. As an organization, we represent service providers, manufacturers, wireless data and internet companies,
as well as other contributors to the wireless universe. CTIA advocates on their behalf before the Executive Branch, the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, and state regulatory and legislative bodies. For more information see www.ctia.org.