|PAST ACTIVITIES – WINTER 2008The Mass. Major City Chiefs (MMCC) support improvements to the Massachusetts 911 Program through changes to state laws governing 911. The 40 largest cities represented by MMCC members handle over 63% of 911 calls and operate all the largest 911 centers (called PSAPs or Public Safety Answering Positions).These current laws “sunset” (expire) on 6/30/08. The MMCC is working with the Governor’s office, the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Statewide Emergency Telecommunications Board (SETB), the Mass Chiefs of Police Organization, the Mass Fire Chiefs, the Mass. Municipal Association (MMA), the Mass. Communications Supervisors Association (MCSA), the Mass. Chapter of NENA (MassNENA), and many members of the legislature to insure that successor 911 legislation is the best that it can be.Particular efforts have been directed to continuing support for the statewide 911 telephone network already constructed, to improving equipment and services in local and regional 911 centers, to training and certifying 911 dispatchers, and to preparing 911 technology to be responsive in a world moving away from traditional telephony to a world of cell phones, VoIP, text messaging and advanced IP communications.
The MMCC also supports most all of the recommendations contained in the DTC report on A Long Range Plan for 911 in Mass. (see link below)
FLASH: Proposed EOPSS Bill
May 28, 2008 Bill As Reported out of Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security: PDF
March 31, 2008 Bill As Drafted by EOPSS: PDF
EOPSS Summary of the Bill’s Major Sections: PDF
Proposed 911 Statutes from the Mass. Major City (Police) Chiefs –
1. The Proposed Language: Updated 2/4/08 with some minor wording improvements (PDF)
2. Reauthorization of 911: MMCC general recommendations (PDF) (updated 7/07)
3. Comparison of Mass. E911 with other states our size: PDF.
The 6 other states similar in size to Massachusetts (Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Washington and Tennessee) all provide much more support to local 911 centers and their 911 call processing functions than is provided in Mass..
4. 911 Rates in Other States: NENA study from Sept 2015.
5. Example of Allowable 911 Expenses in Michigan: PDF.
See how even a large, industrial (and not very wealthy) state can support its PSAPs.
6. Example of new state legislation that merges wireline and wireless funds under a consolidated state agency. North Carolina
7. Links to current Mass. 911 Statutes,
8. DTC Long Range Plan for 911 (Docket 06-33)
Information and links from other states.
In the Fall of 2004, The Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs organization (chaired by Chief Edward Davis of the Lowell Police Department) established a 911 Committee to advance the interests of 911 dispatchers and 911 dispatch centers in the 40 largest cities of the Commonwealth.
Current Members of the Committee in 2008 include:
The Committee has produced a Report of Findings on the current state of 911 in Massachusetts (with proposals for improvements at several levels) and two specific proposals for the consideration of the SETB Board.
1. Major City Police Chiefs Association, 911 Committee, Report of Findings, April 2005.
2. Proposal for PSAP Training Fund, May 2005.
Summary: The Proposal calls for the SETB to designate 5% of telephone 911 surcharge revenues to be used for yearly formula-based direct grants to PSAPs for 911-related training of 911 Dispatchers. Currently, little or no on-going training of dispatchers is able to be done by PSAPs. Dispatchers need to build skills in many areas so that they can properly process 911 calls; these funds will allow that critically-needed skill-development to occur.
2007 Status: Voted $2.5M in Dec 2006; and in March of 2007 award letters were sent to 270+ PSAPs with the max amount of their reimbursement. Smallest PSAPs got at least $5,000; largest PSAPs got much more (proportionate to population and call volume). See rules and amounts and forms on SETB web site under PSAP Training Fund.
History: MCC Proposal voted approved at the May 2006 SETB Full Board meeting. Fund included in final wireline budget (at $1.8M) that the DTE will rule on by November 2006. SETB supports fund as prudent expense, see full proceeding documents here. See letter of September 8, 2006 from SETB General Counsel Frank Pozniak supporting PSAP Training Fund, in particular..
October 2006; Working Documents:
5. Sample Distribution Formula: by 911 call vol and pop; 90% formula, 10% competitive; audit; rules; expense tracking.
Fund Approved by DTE on 12/1/06. Details to be worked out by SETB.
3. Proposal for Language Interpretation Services, May 2005.
Summary: This Proposal calls for the SETB to fund over-the-phone language interpretation services for all PSAPs so that non-English-speaking 911 callers can get the same level of service as English-speaking callers. Based on 2000 MA. Census data, it is estimated that over 100,000 persons in Massachusetts either cannot speak English at all, or cannot speak sufficiently to communicate their needs during a 911 call.
Status: MCC Proposal presented to the full SETB at their May 11, 2005 meeting. SETB voted unanimously to approve the SETB Standards Committee to move to implement using up to $100,000 in fund monies. Qwest hired and now services all PSAPs.