General Assembly Streamlines Emergency Management, Continues Support for NG911

The Maryland General Assembly passed SB 658 Maryland Department of Emergency Management – Establishment and Transfer of Maryland 9-1-1 Board, legislation that will elevate the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to the Governor’s cabinet and transfer the Maryland 9-1-1 Board to MEMA.

MACo supported the bill, as it will bolster and enhance collaboration, communication, and coordination between the State and county governments in times of crisis, help Maryland continue its movement toward Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911), deliver these services equitably across the state, and assure effective coordination with communications providers.

From the MACo Testimony:

As a Cabinet-level entity, MEMA will be in a strong position to work directly with county emergency management offices to develop scalable, flexible, and adaptable concepts and to better align key roles andresponsibilities when disasters strike. This partnership will ensure the continuity of government in the face of an innumerable number of catastrophic events.

As Maryland’s 9-1-1 system is a vital part of the State’s emergency response and disaster preparedness network, MEMA is the proper entity to help advance the deployment of a statewide NG911 system that our residents expect and deserve, while also ensuring that the 9-1-1 Board retains its autonomy in terms of authority, enforcement, structure, training, and funding—including the management and distribution of grants.

Follow MACo’s advocacy during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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