State Coordination and Funding Incentives
While there have been successful regional ESInet projects without strong state support or financial incentives, the evidence shows that regional ESInet projects move along more quickly where that environment exists. States should consider establishing such a framework. Some models follow in the next several paragraphs.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania put the statutory framework in place to empower the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to actively support and enhance funding support for regional ESInet initiatives. [Follow this link to the statute]. PEMA has provided counties with guidance and funding for conducting regionalization assessments. [Follow this link to the guidelines].
The Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) oversees statewide 911 in the Commonwealth. VITA has similarly provided financial incentives for regionalization and consolidation projects through its annual grant process. [Follow this link to the FY17 grant guidelines]. Each PSAP participating in a Shared Services grant receives $175K, which is $25K more than as a stand-alone PSAP (page 12). A complete description of these types of grants can be found on page 14. Also, shared services projects have priority for funding over individual projects within the same ranking (pages 30 – 31).
The Connecticut Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (DSET) oversees 911 in the state of Connecticut. DSET provides an array of grants for groups of municipalities to study regionalization, offset the cost to transition from individual PSAPs to a regional center, and offset capital costs. Once operational, DSET provides a special subsidy for regional 911 centers. [Follow this link to SEC. 28-24-3]. It is worth noting that Connecticut’s regulations also set forth governance and reporting requirements for regionalized PSAPs. All of Connecticut’s PSAPs, whether regional or not, are served by a single statewide 911 network. That network is currently being upgraded to IP and transformed into a statewide ESInet. Legislation introduced in 2016 would require regionalization as a prerequisite for funding: stand-alone PSAPs serving less than 40,000 population and answering fewer than 12,000 calls per year would be ineligible to receive funding from the state and would have to reimburse the state for its costs to equip that PSAP. [Follow this link to the CT Legislature Bill Search].
The Massachusetts 911 Department is responsible for 911 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Like Connecticut, it provides grants for regionalization. The Regional Emergency Communication Center (RECC) Support Grant reimburses allowable capital and operational expenses related to equipment and personnel costs. The Regional PSAP and RECC Incentive Grant supports the development and startup of Regional PSAPs and RECCs.
Sample grant and funding programs from these and other states are available here....