Assemblymember Bloom Vows To Continue Effort To Modernize 911 Systems

Saturday, 1 Mar 2014, 9:09:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.
Courtesy Image
Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

Amid recent reports that police could not immediately respond to the

shooting last November at Los Angeles International Airport because the

emergency phone system could not provide a location, Assemblymember

Richard Bloom

(Dem-Santa Monica) has announced that he is going to push for

reconsideration of Assembly Bill 911, a bill he authored last to require

system upgrades to help reduce response time. 

“Currently,

most emergency calls placed from a phone in

a large facility such as an airport, school campus, hospital, or court

house, cannot provide specific location of where the call actually

originated. This means that operators are unable to immediately direct

where first responders should go.

Bloom said thhis lack of information significantly delays emergency response as

was the case at LAX last November.

Current law tasks local public safety organizations

with administering 9-1-1 service for emergency calls. 

Most public

safety organizations have implemented “Enhanced 9-1-1” (E911) service,

which identifies the phone number and location

from which a 9-1-1 call originates. 

However, there is currently no

uniform requirement that the information provided by the phone system

making a 9-1-1 call conform to a certain standard. 

While some MLTS

users have configured their phone systems to provide

precise location data to a PSAP, many have not.

E911 service can be extremely helpful to first

responders in situations where a caller is unable to provide his or her

location. 

However, it is only useful if the phone system can provide an

accurate location to the Public Safety Answering

Point (PSAP). 

Bloom said in urban skyscrapers, the physical address where the

emergency occurred is of little use without knowledge of which floor to

go to.

"Additionally, in some cases where all calls in a

large phone system are routed through a central switchboard, the

switchboard is physically located far away from where a call originates,

and the PSAP may dispatch help to the switchboard’s

location while the emergency is miles away," he said.

Bloom said AB

911 addresses this problem by requiring multiline telephone systems in

large complexes and temporary structures to install a Public

Safety Answering Point technology that would provide 9-1-1 dispatchers,

with the precise location of the caller. 

Bloom said while

the bill cleared the Assembly last year, the Senate Appropriations

Committee held the bill last year out of cost concerns. 

“I, too, think we should always be fiscally prudent," he said. "But, when

people’s lives are at stake, we need to make the necessary investments. 

Nineteen other states already require this technology. Since we are

constantly making upgrades to

facilities to accommodate faster internet speeds, there is no reason

why we cannot make this one-time investment happen. One important

lesson of the LAX shooting, is that we are overdue for this technology

upgrade."

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