U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr.
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021
Pascrell Leads Call to Modernize 9-1-1 Infrastructure
Letter to House Leadership urges inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 Act in upcoming infrastructure package
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chair of the House Law Enforcement Caucus and the co-chair of the House Fire Services Caucus, today led a letter to House leadership urging inclusion of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act in the upcoming infrastructure package. The legislation would provide $15 billion to update America’s 9-1-1 infrastructure, protect against cyber threats, and ensure that first responders will be able to efficiently use upgraded 9-1-1 technology to save lives. The letter was also signed by Fire Services Caucus co-chairs Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Mike Bost (R-IL-12), and Law Enforcement Caucus co-chair John Rutherford (R-FL-04).
“As the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Fire Services and Law Enforcement Caucuses, we write to express our strong support for the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021,” the Members wrote. “This legislation will provide critical updates to our nation’s 911 infrastructure, protect it from cyber threats, and ensure that first responders are able to efficiently use Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to save lives. We request the lifesaving benefits of this legislation be realized by incorporating it into any infrastructure package considered by the House of Representatives.”
The Members continued, “[a]s Next Generation 9-1-1 technology evolves and is deployed around the country, law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies in urban, suburban, and rural areas will encounter varying issues. To ensure that Next Generation 9-1-1 technology is utilized optimally, stakeholders representing multiple agencies and geographic areas across the country must be frequently consulted. We are glad this legislation includes a Next Generation 9-1-1 Advisory Board to accomplish this critical coordination and collaboration. The board’s 16 members from various law enforcement, fire and rescue, and EMS agencies will provide valuable input to ensure Next Generation 9-1-1 is always meeting the needs of its users and the general public.”
The full letter to House leadership is available here.
As co-chair of both the House Law Enforcement Caucus and Fire Services Caucus, Rep. Pascrell has made supporting America’s first responders a top priority. He authored the FIRE Act, which provides hundreds of thousands in federal support to New Jersey firefighters each year and millions to fire departments nationwide. Last August, he led legislation to ensure that public safety officers who contract COVID-19 in the line of duty are eligible for benefits for their families should they become disabled or die from the virus. Rep. Pascrell also helped pass the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, both of which provided billions to communities to prevent layoffs of first responders amid the pandemic’s economic fallout.