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
(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.
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.
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
However, it is only useful if the phone system can provide an
accurate location to the Public Safety Answering
Bloom said in urban skyscrapers, the physical address where the
emergency occurred is of little use without knowledge of which floor 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
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