May 3, 2021
By: Kevin Kinnally
Read the full article here.
For a fourth and final year, the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) Across Maryland this week will reconvene (virtually) to continue its work in guiding Maryland’s ambitious and important move toward NG911, delivering these services equitably across the state, and adopting policies and protocols consistent with evolving technology and operational needs.
“Shifting to NextGen 9-1-1 won’t happen overnight– it is a complex and expensive process,” said Commission Chair Senator Cheryl Kagan. “Our Commission has been at the forefront and an example for other states. I am so proud of our accomplishments that will save countless lives.”
The meeting will be live-streamed in compliance with Maryland’s Open Meetings law on:
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Maryland residents demand and expect 9-1-1 emergency service to be reliable and efficient. Next-generation technology is required to keep up with this increasingly complex public safety function – improving wireless caller location, accommodating incoming text/video, and managing crisis-driven call overflows.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Commission to Advance NG911 across Maryland, a 2018 MACo Legislative Initiative, was established to update state laws and the 9-1-1 financing system to provide the flexibility and resources needed for the deployment of a statewide NG911 system. In 2019, the General Assembly passed landmark legislation to update state laws and the 9-1-1 financing system to provide the flexibility and resources needed to deploy a statewide NG911 system.
The Commission includes 9-1-1 directors, technology and telecommunications industry representatives, cybersecurity professionals, a bipartisan group of legislators, and other stakeholders to assure a smooth and equitable transition to NG911.
The General Assembly this year passed omnibus legislation to add necessary expertise to the Maryland 9-1-1 Board by adding additional representation, including a county finance professional, county 9-1-1 specialists, an expert from the cybersecurity industry, and a member to represent persons with disabilities. The bill also requires telecommunications providers to promptly notify 9-1-1 centers in the event of an outage necessary to implement alternative communications methods and provide proper public notice.
MACo also successfully supported legislation to designate the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) as a Cabinet-level agency and transfer the 9-1-1 Board from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to MEMA.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.