No More Waiting: Bill Would Connect Emergency Callers Immediately

Apr 19, 2019

After the Parkland Shooting pressure was put on legislators at the Capitol to make changes. The result is Senate Bill 536.
Credit Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

911 operators will directly transfer callers instead of putting them on hold under a bill moving through the senate. The measure follows a report from the Parkland Commission.

Senator Lauren Book speaks during the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Credit The Florida Channel

“This was one of the number one reasons kids weren’t communicated with in this tragedy and one of the biggest lapses I think,” says Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation). She is referencing the communication confusion in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. It’s a major concern to the Parkland Commission and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) took notice.

Senator Jeff Brandes explains senate bill 536 to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Credit The Florida Channel

“When you called 911, you weren’t getting the 911 for the local police department that oversaw parkland and so they were having to transfer calls to the other 911 operator and couldn’t directly speak to law enforcement which delayed the response,” says Brandes. He’s the bill’s sponsor. “They got to be able to immediately get on the phone call on the radio and interact with that local law enforcement agency.”

The bill is heading for a full floor discussion.