Torres Headlines Regional Gathering of 9-1-1 Leadership
ONTARIO, CA - Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) and Admiral David Simpson, 9-1-1 Bureau Chief for the Federal Communications Commission, led a 9-1-1 Town Hall for Southern California emergency managers on Wednesday at the Ontario Convention Center. Earlier in the week, Torres and Simpson joined Ontario and San Bernardino County officials for a leadership breakfast and listening session before area leaders embarked on tours of local Public-Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) including Ontario Police Department, San Manuel Tribal Public Safety Facilities, and Cal-Fire.
“With rapidly changing technology, shrinking budgets, and the growing threat of domestic terrorism, PSAPs are facing unprecedented challenges,” said Torres. “This week’s events gave area fire, police, and EMS leaders the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other as well as from industry experts on ways to improve emergency responsiveness.”
Hosted by the City of Ontario and attended by emergency department managers from throughout Southern California, participants discussed Next Generation 911, funding and grant opportunities, and increasing the accuracy of alerts and emergency responses. They also took part in a demonstration of the ECaTS National 911 Dashboard Project by the Department of Homeland Security which allows for improved threat analysis, monitoring, and coordination.
“As a former 9-1-1 dispatcher and current member of the House Homeland Security Committee, one of my most important responsibilities is staying abreast of issues facing the first responder community and making sure federal policies are supporting their efforts to protect our communities,” continued Torres. “I look forward to continuing to work with our area PSAPs to recognize the important role that dispatchers and 9-1-1 systems play and to make sure they have the resources they need to keep us safe.”
Torres worked for 17 years as a dispatcher for LAPD. She is the author of H.R. 6063, the 911 Emergency Service Protection Act, which will hold accountable private equity firms that invest in emergency services companies. She is also leading efforts to change the classification of 9-1-1 dispatchers by the Office of Management and Budget from “Office and Support Personnel” to a “Protective Service Occupation.” Her recent op-ed on those efforts can be found here.