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Shapiro Administration Secures Future Funding of 911 Services

12/18/2023

Harrisburg, PA – With the recent finalization of the fiscal code, the Shapiro Administration directed critical resources to the 61 county-based Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) located throughout the Commonwealth, commonly called "911 centers." The law extends the 911 program through January 31, 2029, and will bring an additional $47.7 million per year due to an increase in the monthly phone surcharge from $1.65 to $1.95 approved through January 31, 2026.

"Our PSAPs and the dedicated staff who answer the call 24 hours a day are the backbone of the public safety network in Pennsylvania," said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. "The Shapiro Administration is committed to supporting their long-term, sustainable growth as we continue to build out cutting-edge Next Generation 911 technology."

Since 2015, the surcharge has been integral in supporting the planning, coordinating, testing and implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911) service at PSAPs. NG911 includes many of the services that callers expect as mobile network technology improves, such as Text-to-911 and improved caller location data. A large part of the plans to improve 911 service in Pennsylvania includes more behind-the-scenes improvements and savings, such as regionalization of individual county PSAPs, better GIS data and building out redundant systems to ensure seamless information sharing.

"There are two distinct groups that expect excellence from our PSAPs at all times – the callers who need assistance, and the first responders who will provide the help they need," said PEMA Deputy for 911 Greg Kline. "It is our mission to make sure they have the information, tools and resources they need to do their jobs to keep residents and visitors safe across Pennsylvania."

There are approximately 2,500 PSAP telecommunicators in Pennsylvania, and in 2022 they answered approximately 15.2 million requests for emergency assistance. Many counties are facing staffing shortages and are looking to hire additional staff. Anyone interested can learn more about PSAP careers on the PEMA website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ruth A. Miller: ruthmiller@pa.gov


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