Not much movement this past week on any 911 or EMS bills. One week left in session!
Are You Committed to a Better 911 System and a Better and Safer Missouri?
Missouri 911 has been behind the curve for many years. Our neighboring states are making changes and setting the standards and trends for what we will be expected to follow. We have advocated for a better 911 system for years, an enhanced 911 system throughout the State, Wireless Phase I, Wireless Phase II, Next Generation... but are we getting it all wrong? Every resident in Missouri thinks that when they dial 911 they will get a trained, qualified profession on the line that knows immediately where they are calling from. They have been miss informed by the best sales people in the State, the telephone companies. When did they become the experts on how the 911 service works in our communities and why are we not at the front of the line during this sale? We have spent too many years working to educate the law makers of this State and not working hard enough at educating our families, friends and neighbors in our own communities. Maybe it is time we work hard to push our way to the front of the line and educate our future law makers?
Some agencies have made it a point to work on education. Some have educational programs to speak with their citizens and some with grade school children. What about pushing forward to the front of the line to educate the colleges and the universities? What about educating our civic groups, volunteer organizations and the companies that sell the 911 service, (our service) to the consumer? Our education should be focused on those individuals and companies, but we should also focus on the lobbyists? They are really the people at the front of the line when it comes to Jefferson City.
Through teamwork and partnership we at Missouri NENA are committed to educating. We will continue to work side by side with Missouri APCO and the Missouri 911 Director's Association to educate. All three associations are committed to you, but the memberships all need to join in this challenge together. We see the same faces all the time. We look forward to seeing some new faces too. We are all still the Voice of 911.
Where we are Currently!
Emails have been circulating and conference calls have been made recently to discuss the latest about proposed legislation that almost made its way this session. After the Missouri APCO / NENA combined conference, Hb1358 and Hb1458 really began to gain some speed. The attempt was made to get the ball rolling on the wireless 911 funding and it was said they would attempt to make the current 911 board more functionable board. The following is where we are now:
Hb1358 is primarily changing the laws regarding political subdivisions, but merges the provisions of Sections 190.400 RSMo through 190.440 RSMo and 650.320 RMSo through 650.340 RSMo in order to establish a single entity that will oversee emergency 911 services statewide and repeals the provisions regarding the Wireless Service Provider Enhanced 911 Advisory Board established in Section 190.410 RSMo and renames the current Advisory Committee for 911 Service Oversight to the Oversight Board and reduce the size of the 911 Service Oversight Board from 16 to 7 members. Hb1358 was reported in from the Rules Committee on April 26th and it may be hard to get much credit with it not coming out of the chamber of origin this late in the session.
Hb1458 was primarily changing the laws regarding fire protection services, but also had structured information regarding the make up of the 911 Service Oversight Board, such as appointment, term limits, duties, etc. This bill was referred on to Senate Local Government.
Hb1108 requires a telecommunications company to provide caller location information in certain emergency situations. (Reference the Kelsey Smith abduction and murder, Overland Park, Kansas 2005) On May 2nd it is noted as truly agreed and finally passed.
Hb1114 is regarding Taney County, upon voter approval of a county sales tax, to appoint an emergency services board to administer the central dispatching of emergency services. On May 2nd, executive session was held, voted do pass.
Hb1768 and Hb1780 changes the laws regarding county and statewide emergency 911 service boards. No further movement noted.
Hb820 adds training requirements for 911 operators in state law regarding self-defense and defense of others in order to assist callers who are in imminent danger of sustaining serious injury or death. The act gives 911 operators immunity from civil liability when providing this information except in cases of willful and wanton misconduct or gross negligence. Newly employed 911 operators must complete the training within the first 12 months of employment. This act is similar to HB 1683 (2012). On April 11th, S voted do pass from committee on Senate-Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government. Effective on August 28, 2012. Your Legislative Committee Represented by all Memberships:
Lisa Schlottach, Rance Duffy, Mike Hall, Mike Snowden, and myself have met by phone and some of the committee in person recently to discuss the future of funding in Missouri, the proposed legislation and action being taken and how the technical committee was progressing by putting some verbiage into place for the future of Next Generation with the funding that would be sought after. The committee is still working diligently to stay up on the status and changes while trying to stay ahead of the information so that we may better serve you and Missouri. There is only two weeks left, so we shall see what comes of the days ahead. Don't ever hesitate to reach out to us with questions or suggestions. Remember through education the message will be delivered it is how we deliver it that makes the difference! "Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength." Henry Ward Beecher
Thank you for all of your service! April Tarrant