FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 3, 2021
(ANNAPOLIS, MD) After four years of working to upgrade Maryland’s 9-1-1 system, the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) Across Maryland released its fourth & final annual report with 24 recommendations. Highlights include:
● Streamlining access to mental health services for 9-1-1 Specialists;
● Authorizing counties to set the local portion of the 9-1-1 fee;
● Providing Workers’ Compensation for 9-1-1 Specialists with PTSD;
● Requiring timely notification of 9-1-1 outages;
● Increasing penalties for “Swatting” and cyberattacks on 9-1-1 Centers;
● Mandating Implicit Bias Training for 9-1-1 Specialists;
● Continuing Comptroller audit reporting;
● Improving 9-1-1 Board operations;
● Educating the public about Kari’s Law;
● Collecting 9-1-1 data statewide;
● Reclassifying 9-1-1 Specialists as First Responders;
● Enforcing cybersecurity standards at all 9-1-1 Centers;
● Ensuring that emergencies can be located in multi-story buildings (Z-axis); and
● Facilitating remote call-taking.
Inspired by the death of Rockville activist and District 17 resident Carl Henn when
9-1-1 failed, Sen. Cheryl Kagan has chaired the NG911 Commission since its inception.
“Maryland has made impressive strides towards modernizing our 9-1-1 systems that have put us at the forefront nationally,” Kagan said. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to work side-by-side with our remarkably talented public safety community.”
Many of the NG911 Commission’s 24 recommendations will be
incorporated into six bills that Senator Kagan
and others will be sponsoring during the 2022 session.
Critical to the success of this Commission have been Vice Chair Steve Souder, a 50+ year 9-1-1 leader; a bipartisan group of legislators; 9-1-1 Center directors; technology and telecommunications representatives; Cybersecurity professionals; industry consultants; and other stakeholders.