9-1-1 Commission to Finalize Recommendations on Monday
(ANNAPOLIS, MD) Public emergencies are in the news again. In the month since Maryland’s 9-1-1 Commission last met in Annapolis, we’ve seen shootings, fires, and other life-threatening incidents. The response is always handled through 9-1-1. Yet Maryland’s Emergency Centers, which handle over 5 million calls annually, struggle for resources. At the same time, the demands increase, thanks to new technology. Maryland is behind 22 other states in transitioning from technology first envisioned with a rotary dial phone to new, “Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911).”
After hundreds of hours of meetings and conference calls to examine challenges and solutions, the Maryland 9-1-1 Commission will hold its final public meeting of the year in advance of delivering its report to the Governor and Maryland General Assembly on December 1.
Communication with 9-1-1 centers is currently delivered over technology created in 1979. The network will be updated to use current technology’s greatly enhanced capabilities. People in crisis will be able to use voice, text, photos, and videos to communicate with an emergency call-taker. Updated geographic systems will allow 9-1-1 Specialists to locate callers with greater precision, saving First Responders valuable time to find those in need.
Commission Chair Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (District 17 – Gaithersburg and Rockville) said, “9-1-1 call-takers and First Responders already do remarkable work. With updated NextGen911 technology, they can respond even more quickly and accurately in order to save lives.”
WHAT: Third face-to-face meeting of the “Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland” The meeting will be live-streamed here
WHEN: Monday, November 19, 2018 10:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: Joint Hearing Room, Annapolis, Maryland
WHO: Commissioners include 9-1-1 Center directors, telecommunications experts, representatives from the Departments of Disabilities and Information Technology, other agency representatives, and State legislators
To make sure that Maryland’s counties deliver the best service to the public, the Commission has focused on four issue areas:
Recruiting, training, and retaining staff;
Updating technology and cybersecurity;
Evaluating current funding shortfalls and proposing adjustments; and
Ensuring appropriate oversight and accountability.
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About Senator Cheryl C. Kagan: Senator Kagan (D) represents District 17, Rockville and Gaithersburg. First elected in 1994 to the House of Delegates, Kagan served two terms before stepping down to work in the non-profit sector. In 2014, Kagan returned to elected office, winning her first term to the State Senate. Last year, the Maryland Association of Counties recognized Senator Kagan for her efforts on 9-1-1 and other key local government priorities. She was named the 2018 National Leader by the Next Generation 9-1-1 Institute. She won reelection to another four-year term last week.
Chair of the Commission Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan and Vice Chair Steve Souder
are leading a group of public safety experts from across Maryland