FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2018
Statement by Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
The first phone number that children memorize is 9-1-1, and we all rely on it in times of emergency. Maryland is burdened with outdated technology and must update its systems to “Next Generation 9-1-1” (NG911). According to the National Emergency Numbers Association (NENA), Maryland lags behind 22 states that have already updated their emergency systems. Among the critical issues that the Commission will address are:
Next Generation 9-1-1 will help save lives. Extreme weather, traffic accidents, or a mass shooting quickly overwhelm our call centers. Maryland needs a more reliable system that can handle crises and have robust cybersecurity against hackers.
Our 9-1-1 funds are dwindling and do not cover our emergency costs. The $1 fee that most residents and businesses are assessed provides an average of 39% of the cost of providing service. To update the State to NG911 and save lives, we need to identify additional revenue.
According to Michael Sanderson, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), “We depend on our counties to respond to emergencies. Strengthening our 9-1-1 centers is one of MACo’s top policy priorities. We will continue to work with the General Assembly to update this life-saving service.”
Senator Kagan added, “Three people died in District 17 when our 9-1-1 emergency systems failed. It is vital that Maryland moves forward now on NG911 to ensure the safety of our residents.”
WHAT: First meeting of the “Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland” The meeting will be live-streamed here
WHEN: Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:00am – 1:00pm
WHERE: Joint Committee Hearing Room, Annapolis, Maryland
WHO: Commission members include 9-1-1 Center directors, telecommunications experts, representatives from the Departments of Information Technology and Disabilities, other agency representatives, and State legislators
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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