January 24, 2011
OFFICE OF STATEWIDE EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS
By: Veronica Rose, Chief Analyst
You asked for brief information on the duties of the Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (OSET).
OSET was established in 1981 by PA 81-258. It administers the state's enhanced 9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) program, which provides dispatch services to people who dial 9-1-1.
The office is within the Department of Public Safety (DPS). It works with the Department of Public Utility Control to carry out its functions, and an 11-member E 9-1-1 commission appointed by the governor helps it to plan, design, and implement the E 9-1-1 program (CGS § 28-29a).
The E 9-1-1 program is funded by a surcharge on telephone lines. OSET's budget comes from funds collected from the surcharge. In 2010, OSET expended $24,349,760 for the E-9-1-1 system, including $1,387,950 for the operational costs of the office. The office employs 11 people.
By law, OSET must develop and maintain a statewide emergency telecommunications policy.
In carrying out this charge, it must, among other things:
1. develop and administer a statewide E 9-1-1 program in accordance with DPS regulations;
2. develop a statewide emergency services telecommunications plan specifying emergency police, fire, and medical service telecommunications systems needed to provide coordinated emergency telecommunications to all state residents;
3. provide technical telecommunications assistance to state and local police, fire, and emergency medical service agencies;
4. review and make recommendations for proposed legislation affecting emergency service telecommunications;
5. review and make recommendations to the legislature for emergency telecommunications funding; and
6. provide financial assistance to police, fire, and emergency medical service agencies that provide E 9-1-1 services (CGS § 28-24 (see OLR 2010-R-0113)).
The office, in cooperation with public safety agencies, may:
1. establish minimum training standards for telecommunicators (people who take 9-1-1 calls and dispatch emergency services), develop examination programs for them, and certify those who meet the required standards;
2. certify telecommunicator instructors; and
3. coordinate the delivery of telecommunicator training programs, as required, to public safety agencies (CGS § 28-30).
OSET must provide annual reports to the legislature (CGS § 28-29b). Its 2009 report to the legislature is available online at http://www.ct.gov/dps/lib/dps/office_of_statewide_emergency_telecommunications_files/oset-files/2009_annual_report_to_the_general_assembly.pdf
More information on OSET is available here: http://www.ct.gov/dps/cwp/view.asp?a=2150&q=294326