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ARA Joins Find Me 911 Coalition to Address the Critical 911 Location Accuracy Issue

Nationwide public safety crisis could put seniors at risk

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) announced they are joining Find Me 911, a coalition of emergency responders, 911 dispatchers and others interested in helping first responders accurately locate people facing emergencies.

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"Find Me 911 is working to address the critical issue of accurately locating 911 callers, which is an important safety issue for our members," said Richard J. Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "We look forward to working together to ensure emergency response personnel receive fast and accurate location information for all 911 calls, because every second counts."

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a nationwide organization of four million members with a primary objective to mobilize retired union members and other seniors and community activists into a nationwide grassroots movement. They work to make their voices heard on the laws and policies that shape our lives and to strengthen retirement security.

"We are excited that the Alliance for Retired Americans is joining us in this important effort," said Jamie Barnett, Director of Find Me 911 and the former head of the Public Safety Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. "Data released by the Federal Communications Commission shows that many wireless calls to 911 do not have accurate location information associated with them. With an increased number of seniors using wireless phones it is vital that dispatchers receive faster, more accurate information to keep seniors and others safe."

The FCC estimates that of the roughly 240 million 911 calls placed each year, 70 percent are now placed from wireless phones. At least 50 percent of all wireless 911 calls originate indoors, according to industry estimates. And nearly one-third of households in the United States are wireless-only, with no landline, making them totally reliant on wireless phones during emergencies. According to a 2013 Pew Research report, 76% of people over 65 have wireless phones. New data and recent news coverage  discuss this important public safety issue.

"We are all at risk when we make a 911 call from our wireless phones, but it especially impacts those who are already more vulnerable, like seniors," said Fiesta. 

Find Me 911 is an effort supported by more than 155,000 individuals, as well as national and local organizations. The individuals and organizations represent a broad range of 911 operators and first responders – emergency medical services personnel, fire fighters and police.  Find Me 911 seeks to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) move forward quickly to establish a reasonable, measurable level of location accuracy for emergency calls made indoors, enabling first responders to locate emergency calls from wireless phones from all locations rapidly and efficiently.

Contact: David Blank    
202-637-5275 
Email

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SOURCE Alliance for Retired Americans

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