SACRAMENTO — Assembly Member Norma Torres, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on 9-1-1 Service and Public Safety Communictaions, issued the following statement today commending the California Technology Agency and the Public Safety Communications Office for the California Routing on Empirical Data (RED) Project, which was a 2011 National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) award winner.

“In 2007, approximately 4.9 million of the state’s 11.6 million wireless 9-1-1 calls received a busy signal.  Thanks to the RED Project, the number of wireless emergency calls experiencing a busy signal dramatically decreased from 4.9 million or 42 percent in 2007 to just 639,000 or 4.5 percent in 2011,” said Torres.

The success of the RED Project means millions of California cellphone users dialing 9-1-1 are now connected directly and quickly to an emergency dispatcher instead of experiencing unconnected calls or receiving a busy signal.

“Every second counts when you are calling 9-1-1.  As a former 9-1-1 operator, I know how important it is to have someone answer your call without delay.  The project has improved emergency response times where seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” added Torres.

The RED Project was implemented by the California Technology Agency to address the explosion in wireless calls made to the 9-1-1 system.  State law requires the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to answer wireless 9-1-1 calls, yet in 2007, the CHP only had 24 call taking centers to manage the exponential growth of wireless calls.  Under the RED Project, CHP works with local public safety dispatch offices to determine which jurisdiction should take the call.  The result has been the routing of more wireless 9-1-1 calls directly to one of the 400 public safety call centers dramatically improving access and call response time.

“We now have fewer busy signals and more calls answered by the state standard of 10 seconds or less.  Congratulations to California Technology Agency for the national recognition and the success of the RED project.”