Getting help in an emergency soon will be faster and more effective in California. Thanks to a $4.3 million grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration plans are set to enhance the state’s existing 9-1-1 network. For the person dialing 9-1-1 from a wireless telephone, this means their call will be routed to the right dispatch center faster, expediting arrival of emergency responders and saving more lives.
“I am pleased to announce that California is receiving this critical federal funding to help upgrade our 9-1-1 network infrastructure,” said Teri Takai, State Chief Information Officer. “With our vast terrain, considerable population and more than our fair share of natural disasters, California government must do everything possible to improve our emergency communications infrastructure to better serve the people. This grant will allow us to greatly advance our efforts to prepare for emergencies.”
All states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories were eligible to apply for a portion of the available $40 million in grants authorized by the ENHANCE 911 Act. Not all states applied or were able to meet the established criteria for award.
Encompassing only Northern California initially, the project is expected to take about three years and will cost an estimated $8.6 million, with half the costs being paid for by the grant. The funds will go toward upgrading and enhancing network location and routing technology used to pinpoint 9-1-1 callers more quickly through the use of satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) coordinates. Enhancements will be implemented throughout the rest of the state as results are proven in Northern California.
The OCIO Public Safety Communications Division is charged with establishing policy, setting standards, and administering funding to over 470 state and local government 9-1-1 centers throughout California.