9-1-1 working group appointed

Eleven people representing rural and urban emergency entities, and the Alaska Legislature have been appointed to a working group to make recommendations on a proposal to centralize the state’s 9-1-1 response center.

The 9-1-1 and Dispatch Consolidation Working Group announced June 12 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy is tasked with conducting a thorough analysis and making recommendations by Sept. 1 on consolidation of the 9-1-1 and Alaska State Trooper dispatch systems.

The current plan is related to the Emergency Communication Center Project initiated in 2018 by the Walker administration to improve Department of Public Safety capabilities in rural Alaska.

That plan has already drawn criticism from Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, one of two non-voting members appointed to the committee. The other is Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Anchorage.

Micciche has said a more comprehensive solution is needed than the one under consideration.

Voting members of the 9-1-1 and dispatch consolidation working group include Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price, emergency services provider Ronald Bowers, an EMT-III; public safety dispatcher Suzanne Hall; John Rockwell, a telecommunications planner with Alaska State Troopers; Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce; Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor Rodney Dial and Palmer Mayer Edna Devries; Jacob Butcher, communications manager of Matcom Dispatch; Christine O’Connor, executive director of Alaska Telecom Association; David Goggins, president of TelAlaska, and Heather Cavanaugh, director of external affairs for Alaska Communications.