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04/06/2004

APCO Launches Call to Action

For Immediate Release- April 5, 2004

Public Safety Communications Professionals are Encouraged to Help Push Enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Act of 2003 to a Vote by the Senate

Washington, DC - The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International launched today a Call to Action on the “Enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Act of 2003 (S1250),” asking members of the public safety communications community to help push this legislation to a vote on the Senate floor. The legislation is on the Senate Calendar waiting to be scheduled for a debate and vote by the Senate.

Of the approximately 200 million calls placed to 9-1-1 each year, more than 56 million, or 28 percent, of the calls are made from wireless phones. Unlike calls to 9-1-1 from land-based wireline telephones, most public safety operators answering wireless 9-1-1 calls do not have information regarding the name, telephone number, and location of the caller-referred to as enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) services. Prompt and accurate location information-especially from the increasing numbers of wireless 9-1-1 calls-is therefore critical to delivering emergency assistance to victims.

S1250 would provide a mechanism for greater coordination of emergency services between Federal, State and local governments, Federal funding for State and local governments to enhance emergency services, and penalties for State and local governments who have diverted 9-1-1 funds for other purposes.

Therefore, APCO International is asking the members of the public safety communications community to send a letter to the Senators in their state asking them to support S1250. In addition, APCO International members are encouraged to call the state offices of their Senators to invite them to tour their communications center or schedule a visit at the Senator’s local office.

“The time for action on this bill is way over due,” APCO International President Vincent Stile said. “It is now time to show the Senate how important of an issue this is by coming together and making it happen. We need this legislation to help protect the lives of the citizens we serve.”

For more information on the Call to Action, visit: www.apcointl.org.

About APCO International
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials - International, Inc. - is the world’s oldest and largest not-for-profit professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. With more than 16,000 members around the world, APCO International exists to serve the people who manage, operate, maintain, and supply the communications systems used to safeguard the lives and property of citizens everywhere.


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