Saturday, April 13, 2024

House passes Rep. Schrier’s bipartisan bill to support rural communities and improve emergency services

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WASHINGTON, DC - The United States House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Kim Schrier’s, M.D. (WA-08) bipartisan bill aimed at improving emergency services in rural communities on April 26. The Advanced, Local Emergency Response Telecommunications (ALERT) Parity Act, which was introduced with Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06), passed the House by a roll call vote of 422-1.

“I am thrilled that the House just passed the ALERT Parity Act. Far too often, rural communities are left behind and do not have the proper resources they deserve, like emergency services. The 8th district is nearly 10,000 square miles and many of my constituents who live in these rural areas do not have the consistent ability to make emergency 911 calls and receive emergency alerts. As a doctor, I know how crucial time is in a medical emergency, as just a few minutes can make an immense difference,” said Rep. Schrier.

“This bill directs the FCC to create a regulatory framework that will allow satellites to provide service in emergency situations. This will significantly improve the care rural Washingtonians receive in crucial situations like medical emergencies and natural disasters. I am happy that these bipartisan relationships I have built in Congress are carrying on through a shift in party leadership so that even in the minority, I can continue to deliver for the people of the 8th District.”

The ALERT Parity Act requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules for satellite communications providers who want to deliver emergency connectivity service in remote and rural areas and those areas where communications infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. This means that the FCC will be able to give satellite communications providers the necessary certainty they need so that they can provide consumers with access to emergency services when it is otherwise unavailable.

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