PA 9-1-1 system to get $137 million upgrade

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Pennsylvania is upgrading its 9-1-1 system to keep pace with modern communication.

The state will spend $137 million project to update the 9-1-1 system across Pennsylvania to the "Next Generation 911" platform. The Wolf administration made the announcement Thursday.

“Our 911 telecommunicators are the backbone of emergency services in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This upgrade to our 911 system is another step in our commitment to enhancing public safety, saving lives and protecting our commonwealth now and for years to come.”

The new system will improve speed and accuracy of 911 call delivery and allow users to utilize text-to-911 statewide among a number of other improvements.

“Emergency contact with a 911 center today is primarily limited to a voice call that provides very little data, which was sufficient when 911 calls were placed using a hard-wired phone from a business or residence”, said PEMA Director Randy Padfield.

“Next Generation 911 will enable Pennsylvania’s 911 system to keep pace with the technology people are using every day," he continued. "These improvements to our 911 system mark a significant milestone that will solidify our commitment to support Pennsylvania’s 911 professionals, emergency responders and citizens, and will ultimately save lives.”

The project will take place over seven years and will be funded by a 911 surcharge collected by communication providers.