The legislature held a hearing Wednesday for the proposed legislation that will replenish the lost funds from the E911 accounts. If passed and enacted into law, the legislation will finally start the procurement of a more advanced system to improve emergency response.
Bill 57-36 is an act to appropriate funds for the enhanced E911 emergency reporting system fund from prior years
Assistant Fire Chief Joey Manibusan says the Guam Fire Department is in full support of the measure which will appropriate around $3.8 million dollars to the department for the procurement of the enhanced system.
The funds were illegally transferred from the E911 account several years ago during a previous administration.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero introduced the measure to replenish the lost funds.
Manibusan read GFD’s statement on behalf of Mike Uncangco, the department’s admin and 911 bureau chief.
“Upon assuming office, Governor Lou Leon Leon Guerrero made a promise to return back monies transferred out of the enhanced 911 funds during fiscal years 2014-2017. These transfers, based on the Public Utilities Commission’s investigative report, were illegally transferred during fiscal year 2019,” Manibusan said.
He added that the current system is antiquated (it was procured in 1999) and technologically incapable of performing under the required standards of the FCC and National Emergency Number Association.
Should funding be made available, GFD plans to procure a next-generation 911 or NG 911 system.
“As our people become more mobile, ultimately enabling us to provide assistance when 911 calls are made from all types of communication devices, NG 911 provides the ability to share voice and data-rich information that will improve first responders’ ability to save lives and ensure responder safety and protect property,” Manibusan said.
Meanwhile, 911 dispatchers also voiced their support for the measure.
Cherika Chargualaf, 911 center supervisor, said: “All 27 of us dispatchers are in full support of this bill.”
While $3.8 million has been allotted for the system, a representative from the Office of the Attorney General, who is in charge of procuring the system, could not discuss the final cost since everything is still under the negotiation phase.