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Bilirakis Joins Committee Hearing on “Next Generation” 911 Emergency Calls

March 29, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a member of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, joined a hearing today to examine the nation’s transition to “Next Generation” 911 services.

“If you see a crime or emergency occurring in real time on social media, how do you report it? How can we ensure blind, deaf, and disabled individuals can easily and reliably call 911? We all have smartphones in our pockets capable of voice, text, video, and data services that could redefine 911 calls and how we communicate with first responders,” said Bilirakis. “I am committed to strengthening our public safety and first response measures, particularly when it comes to assisting the elderly and disabled in my district and across the country. Today’s hearing focused on modernizing 911 emergency systems nationwide to work with our next generation technologies.”

During the hearing, Bilirakis questioned officials on the benefits of Next Generation 911 for blind, deaf, disabled, and elderly individuals.

BACKGROUND: Traditional 911 services involve a voice call made to a dispatch center, but soon those lifesaving calls could also take the form of text, video, or data transfer, known as Next Generation 911. Currently, an uneven patchwork exists across state and local governments implementing Next Generation 911. For example, residents of Pinellas County are able to text 911 for help, while Pasco and Hillsborough counties have not yet established this system. Click here to learn more about the hearing, including witness list and testimonies.