"An Act relating to enhanced 911 systems and enhanced 911 surcharges imposed by a municipality, public municipal corporation, or village. "
"I appreciate your consideration of this important public safety legislation."
- Rep. Hawker
House Bill 249 is simply about saving lives. The "dial 911" emergency services dispatch system is every Alaskan's lifeline. Access to a modern 911 system can be the difference between life and death. HB 249 authorizes the funding mechanisms municipalities need to deliver Enhanced 911 (E-911) services. HB 249 also incorporates limitations protecting taxpayers from excessive charges.
E-911 systems have dramatically improved nationwide emergency response capabilities by utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to identify the telephone number and location of the caller. E-911 systems direct calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and automatically provide identifying information to the answering operator. Automatic location notification is critical when a caller is incapacitated or disoriented.
Current statutory caps on the amount municipalities may surcharge telephone services to pay for 911 systems have limited Alaskan communities to Basic 911 services that lack the important technological improvements of E-911. House Bill 249 provides the authority municipalities need to provide E-911 services within constraining parameters to protect their taxpayers.
I appreciate your consideration of this important public safety legislation.