The following is a cross-post by David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator
April 8-14 marks this year’s National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, when we take time to appreciate and thank the dedicated professionals who staff the thousands of 911 centers throughout the nation. These devoted public servants work quietly on the front lines of emergencies, serving as “the first of our first responders.”
We may take 911 calls for granted today, but it was only 50 years ago that the first emergency call was completed in Haleyville, Alabama. We’re now on the cusp of improving our 911 system by providing our highly trained professionals with the advanced tools they need to do their jobs in the 21st century.
Through our joint Implementation Coordination Office, later this year we will be rolling out a revamped 911 grant program to provide states and territories with federal funds to upgrade their 911 operations to keep pace with Next Generation communications technologies.
Please join me this week in recognizing the men and women who work behind the scenes, often without recognition, to answer our 911 calls, dispatch our first responders, and protect our lives and property.