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Assemblymember Rodriguez Advances Critical Legislation to Establish the 9-1-1 Public Education Campaign

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assembly Bill (AB) 296 passed out of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance with unanimous support. AB 296 would establish the 9-1-1 Public Education Campaign to educate the public on when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1 for assistance. This bill has now cleared both policy committees in the Assembly and is heading to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

“Having responded to 9-1-1 calls over the course of three decades, I know firsthand that the system often becomes overwhelmed with non-emergency calls. When first responders are dispatched to a non-urgent call, they cannot respond to a truly life-threatening situation in a timely manner. Educating the public on when to call for emergency services will ensure emergency resources are not delayed for those who truly need them,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.

The goals of the 9-1-1 Public Education Campaign would include raising public awareness of when to call and when not to call 9-1-1 to ultimately reduce the number of unnecessary calls to 9-1-1 centers. Another goal would be to reduce delays in the 9-1-1 system caused by non-emergency calls tying up emergency resources. A final goal would be to inform the public about alternatives to 9-1-1, including the 9-8-8 hotline.

An AAP study showed that 91% of kids don’t know how to call 911. While AB 296 is not focused solely on kids, this staggering statistic must be addressed. A statewide campaign teaching all Californians how to appropriately utilize 911 services will benefit both parents and their children.

A public education campaign on when to call 911 will improve the overall function of the emergency medical system. Dispatchers will have a greater ability to send emergency services to those critically in need swiftly and efficiently. Additionally, the public, as well as our first responders, will significantly benefit from an educational campaign that helps the public learn when it is necessary to call 9-1-1.

“CALNENA is proud to sponsor AB 296 and see the bill has unanimously passed out of both policy committees in the Assembly. When 9-1-1 is inappropriately used for non-emergency purposes, it can cause significant challenges to getting resources to where they are most needed in the community,” said Rosa Ramos, President of the California Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

Assemblymember Rodriguez (Twitter) represents the 53rd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and Upland. He is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management.