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More money for 911 centers may come from phone bills

Updated: Friday, May 16 2014, 05:49 PM EDT

By: Marc Stempka

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. -- Local emergency officials are looking for ways to get more money to cover the costs of operating 911 centers.

Leaders gathered Friday in Hollidaysburg to discuss the impact of new legislation currently in the state house that increases the fee one pays on phone bills each month.

The legislation calls for a 50 cent increase on landline phones and a 75 cent increase on cell phones. The increases would be the first increases since the 911 surcharge fee went into effect in the 1980s.

Blair County 911 Director Mark Taylor said the money is crucial for emergency dispatchers to make sure they can help you when you're in need.

"It is up to the people in this room to get it right and that is to take all of your information down, to see that the proper agencies are being dispatched so that you can get the help that you received," Taylor said. "We also at the same time are protecting all these different fire, police and EMS agencies that are out there responding to your emergency and [to] keep them safe, too."

The state will develop a formula to determine how much each call center across the state will receive from any increased fees. Call volume and minimum fund dispersing determinations are still in the works.

More money for 911 centers may come from phone bills

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times