When a Shelby County mother found her infant unresponsive in the bathtub, a 911 dispatcher answered the mother’s frantic call and coached her in CPR until EMS arrived. Her baby survived.
No service that local governments provide is more essential than 911. However, with time running short in the 2016 General Assembly, governments need support to bring the outdated model that funds 911 up to speed.
Historically, governments funded 911 systems primarily with fees on landline telephones. From 2000-2013 the number of landlines across Kentucky decreased by 23 percent; local governments have been forced to supplement fees with money intended for other services. As landline telephone use continues to become outdated, our 911 funding systems become simultaneously outdated.
Postpaid cell-phone users do currently pay 911 fees, and their fees will not increase under House Bill 585. Unfortunately, prepaid wireless telephone users are not paying their fair share as a result of an antiquated funding formula.
Demand action on HB 585 by emailing or calling your legislator at hello911ky.com/act today.
We are in the last week of active work in the 2016 session, but this issue cannot afford to wait.
It doesn’t matter how you dial 911; someone should answer every time. But without proper resources, that is not guaranteed.
president, Kentucky Assoc. of Counties
president, Kentucky League of Cities