Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Johnston 911 Director Appears Before Congress

Johnston County 911 Director Jason Barbour, who also serves as President of the National Emergency Number Association, appeared before Congress Tuesday to discuss the nationwide 911 system. Barbour discussed the future of 911 during a hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Barbour said investments need to be made to advance 911 technologies to not only serve citizens now but in the future. Barbour was referring to how outdated the nation’s 911 system is, having been built on 1970’s technology. Barbour said teenagers have text messaging devices to text message one another, but they can’t text message a call for help to 911. “Also today’s deaf and hearing impaired community has the technology to message among themselves, as well as video relay one another, yet this technology can’t interface with today’s 911 infrastructure... An IP enabled emergency communication system can do just that.” An average of 200 million 911 calls are made each year, and 79 percent of the nation’s geography, representing 99 percent of the population, has access to basic 911 service. “The ability to call for help in times of an emergency is not ‘voluntary’ – it’s mandatory,” Barbour said. The hearing was held as part of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, a Congressionally recognized week honoring the important work of 911, and public safety professionals.


Post a Comment

<< Home