Today, February 16, is the 56th anniversary of the first 9-1-1 call. Much has changed in the past 56 years, particularly with regard to training, technology, and the nature of the work performed by 9-1-1 professionals. What has remained constant is the dedication, professionalism, and perseverance of the 9-1-1 community and APCO’s commitment to ensuring 9-1-1 professionals have the tools and resources they need. APCO’s legislative and regulatory priorities reflect this devotion to its members and are aimed at advancing the industry and empowering 9-1-1 to save more lives.
For all the complexity of our campaign to fix an obscure federal data system, it really boils down to the fact that 9-1-1 professionals perform lifesaving work, and labeling them as “administrative” personnel is ridiculous.
The 9-1-1 SAVES Act has been reintroduced. You might be asking members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill and explaining why congressional action is needed. Thus, it’s time for a deep dive on correcting the federal classification of 9-1-1 professionals. Even for those who have been following the issue closely, there’s likely new information here that will be of interest.
The following is a list of APCO’s regulatory priorities for the coming year. As a general matter, APCO’s advocacy is driven by the best interests of our public safety members. That means we’re often arguing for a regulatory approach that: avoids shifting costs from service providers to ECCs; ensures that information being delivered to ECCs will best serve the operational needs of 9-1-1 professionals; and when it comes to spectrum, protects public safety users from interference and new costs.
During the prior session of Congress, APCO made substantial progress on its legislative goals, including coming closer than ever to securing significant federal funding for Next Generation 9‑1‑1. With the start of a new Congress, legislation APCO had been championing will need to be reintroduced, and we’ll seek to build upon the momentum to get these bills passed into law. This blog describes APCO’s legislative priorities, APCO’s efforts, and next steps.
On August 7, during APCO’s Annual Conference, Chief Counsel, Jeff Cohen, provided the following report on APCO’s advocacy efforts at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
APCO members often contact us to ask for talking points to prepare for meetings with their U.S. Senators and Representatives. Having accurate talking points to speak from – or leave with the congressional staffers you meet with – can ensure that you use your meeting time efficiently and are prepared to answer key questions about the issues. Following up on the blog describing APCO’s advocacy priorities for 2022, here are talking points for our top legislative issues: 1) securing federal funding for Next Generation 9-1-1; 2) correcting the federal classification of public safety telecommunicators; and 3) funding health and wellness programs for 9-1-1 professionals.
The following is a list of our advocacy priorities for the coming year. Despite much progress and several wins that APCO members should be proud of since we announced our 2021 legislative and regulatory priorities, there is still significant work to be done for public safety communications.
Back in January, we posted a blog outlining our top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2021. Now that we are six months into the year, and with APCO’s Annual Conference right around the corner, we’re writing to reflect on the “why” behind our advocacy. APCO is driven by the needs of its public safety membership.
By Jeff Cohen In 2020, public safety communications professionals faced an extraordinary year, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters, and major civil unrest, in addition to their “routine” work protecting and saving lives. From an advocacy perspective, 2020 was a mixed bag. We witnessed some progress with federal legislation, but there’s a lot […]
By Jeff Cohen Last year, I wrote a blog titled “New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk.” As I explained, the FCC adopted new rules to allow Wi-Fi routers to freely operate throughout a major spectrum band that is heavily relied upon by public safety agencies for “microwave” communications. APCO and other […]