January 25, 2005
OFFICE OF STATEWIDE EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS
By: Kevin E. McCarthy, Principal Analyst
You asked what types of costs can be funded by the Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (OSET) under CGS § 28-24.
CGS § 28-24 created OSET within the Department of Public Safety and established its responsibilities. Among other things, these include providing financial assistance to police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) agencies that provide emergency telecommunications services. The public safety commissioner must annually determine the amount of funding needed to develop and administer the enhanced emergency 911 (E-911) system. Funding can be provided for:
1. the purchase, installation, and maintenance of new public safety answering point (PSAP) terminal equipment;
2. transition grants to encourage the regionalization of public safety emergency telecommunications centers;
3. subsidies for such regional centers, with enhanced subsidies for municipalities with more than 70,000 residents;
4. coordinated medical emergency direction services that provide medical instructions to an E-911 caller before medical assistance arrives;
5. personnel training and related costs;
6. capital costs and recurring expenses associated with the telecommunications system that supports the E-911 system;
7. the collection, maintenance, and reporting of EMS data as required by state law, up to $250,000 per year; and
8. OSET's administrative costs.
Entities eligible for funding include public safety agencies operating PSAPs, municipalities, and regional emergency telecommunications centers. Conn. Agencies Regs. § 28-24-1 et seq. provides the funding criteria, including the formulas used to determine the subsidies. Funding for these programs and activities comes from a surcharge on telecommunications bills, currently 19 cents per month.
OSET's 2004 report to the legislature is available online at http://www.state.ct.us/dps/dfebs/oset/oset_2003_annual_report.pdf.
In 2004, OSET conducted a study on allocation of the E-911 Fund. The study recommends expanding the types of costs eligible for funding and changing the funding formulas to provide additional money for medium size municipalities and for coordinated medical emergency direction services. The latter two changes would require amending CGS § 28-24.