Firefighter Training, Leadership, Legal

APCO Supports Push to Locate Cell Phones Easier

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International released a statement supporting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin’s call to tighten requirements on how location accuracy from wireless phones is measured.

“We are pleased to hear that Chairman Martin is committed to working with the public safety community and the wireless service providers to ensure that people in crisis can be located and helped as quickly and efficiently as possible,” APCO International President Wanda McCarley said.

Chairman Martin’s comments come as APCO International is about to release a report on its Project LOCATE’s (Locate Our Citizens in Times of Emergencies) testing of the accuracy received by public safety answering points (PSAPs) from 9-1-1 calls made from wireless phones.

APCO International conducted the study to help its members, and the public safety community as a whole, understand the issue of location accuracy in wireless telephone 9-1-1 calls because it is very difficult for each local municipality to study their own wireless caller location accuracy. The study provides a snapshot of the kind of location information call takers get when they receive a call for help and highlights how the public safety community and the wireless service providers can work together to improve the quality of this location information so that the public safety community can effectively respond to the 9-1-1 calls made via wireless telephones.

APCO International representatives will be available for interviews to discuss the report further. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Courtney McCarron at [email protected] or 202.833.9600.

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY

In testimony on April 10, 2007, before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International’s President Wanda McCarley stressed three major challenges to meeting the public’s expectations for the future of 9-1-1, including technology, funding and staffing issues.

“…our nation’s 9-1-1 systems need your support to meet the current challenges that are being faced by many of the of local public safety call centers today,” McCarley said in her testimony. “APCO International looks forward to working with the members of this Committee to find effective solutions for technology, funding and staffing challenges to ensure the viability of our nation’s 9-1-1 systems.”

Her complete testimony is available in pdf format HERE.

About APCO International

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. APCO International serves the professional needs of its 15,000 members worldwide by creating a platform for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate, maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.apcointl.org.