March 26, 2024

Manchin Speaks At West Virginia 911 Conference, Announces Support For The Enhancing First Response Act

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) spoke at the West Virginia 911 Conference and announced his support for the bipartisan Enhancing First Response Act. Senator Manchin addressed the West Virginia E911 Council, which is made up of directors from each of the 51 centers across West Virginia.

“West Virginia’s 911 centers are lifelines for medical emergencies and crises of all types,” Senator Manchin said in part. “The work you all do is absolutely critical and I’m incredibly grateful for your tireless efforts, and that is why I’m supporting the

The bipartisan Enhancing First Response Act would ensure 911 dispatchers are recognized as protective service workers and support essential updates to 911 reporting systems during natural disasters. Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Update the classification of 911 dispatchers in the Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code system, changing them from “clerical workers” to “protective service workers,” aligned with other first responders;
  • Require the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to issue a report after major natural disasters on difficulties people faced reaching 911 during a disaster and subsequent recovery efforts, and make recommendations to prevent future disruptions;
  • Require the FCC to study unreported 911 outages and improve outage reporting and communication between mobile carriers and 911 centers; and
  • Require the FCC to report on the extent to which telephone system manufacturers and vendors have complied with laws requiring them to create systems that allow callers to reach 911 without having to dial prefixes or postfixes.

Photos from the event are available here.