Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/05/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 190(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 361                                                                                                            
     "An Act requiring 911 dispatchers to be trained in                                                                         
     cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and providing for an                                                                        
     effective date."                                                                                                           
10:20:06 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Fairclough   informed  the   committee  that                                                                    
Alaska  was  one of  the  few  states  that do  not  require                                                                    
Cardiopulmonary   Resuscitation   (CPR)   training   through                                                                    
statute for  all 911 dispatchers. She  believed the training                                                                    
should be required. She noted that the issue was complex.                                                                       
CRYSTAL  KOENEMAN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,                                                                    
SPONSOR, explained that  HB 361 (version A)  would request a                                                                    
911 coordinator  to monitor and  facilitate the  training of                                                                    
emergency dispatchers  in CPR  and require  that dispatchers                                                                    
be trained  in CPR. Alaska is  one of 18 states  that do not                                                                    
mandate the training.                                                                                                           
Ms. Koeneman  reviewed background regarding the  location of                                                                    
the  911 coordinator.  In 2004,  there was  an omnibus  bill                                                                    
stipulating  that  the  coordinator  be  housed  within  the                                                                    
Department of  Military and Veterans Affairs  (DMVA) because                                                                    
federal  grant money  was anticipated  that  required a  911                                                                    
coordinator within  the state.  There has been  debate about                                                                    
whether  DMVA  or  the Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS)                                                                    
should house the position.                                                                                                      
Representative  Fairclough added  that  the committee  could                                                                    
choose under the proposed CS  to include CPR training, which                                                                    
would  put into  state statute  a standard  already required                                                                    
through  regulation in  other forms  of training  throughout                                                                    
the  state.  She noted  that  DMVA  had  asked to  move  the                                                                    
coordinator position over to DPS  and it was discovered that                                                                    
little  had  been  done  in  coordinating,  monitoring,  and                                                                    
training   dispatchers   of   emergency   medical   services                                                                    
throughout  the  state.  The department  provided  a  fiscal                                                                    
note.  Ms. Koeneman  interjected  that there  was no  fiscal                                                                    
note for the new CS.  The House Heath, Education, and Social                                                                    
Services Committee (HES)  had adopted a blank  CS that moved                                                                    
the position to DPS.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Hawker  queried  the  version of  the  bill  being                                                                    
discussed. Ms.  Koeneman replied  that she was  referring to                                                                    
Version R (blank  CS) that was adopted in  HES; that version                                                                    
did not move from committee  because they were unable to get                                                                    
a  fiscal note  from the  department even  after the  CS was                                                                    
adopted.  The   HES  committee  did  not   feel  comfortable                                                                    
bringing the bill  to the Finance Committee  with an unknown                                                                    
fiscal note. Version A moved out of HES.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Hawker  summarized that the bill  introduced to the                                                                    
committee  was  Version  A;   the  differentiation  was  the                                                                    
housing  location   of  the  coordinator.  He   queried  the                                                                    
language being proposed for amendment  in the A version. The                                                                    
language was  put into statute  some years ago  to establish                                                                    
the  coordinator  in DMVA.  He  asked  whether there  was  a                                                                    
person filling the position at DMVA currently.                                                                                  
MIKE   O'HARE,  DEPUTY   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   HOMELAND                                                                    
SECURITY/EMERGENCY  MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT  OF MILITARY  AND                                                                    
VETERANS AFFAIRS (via  teleconference), responded that there                                                                    
was  not   a  person  filling  the   position.  He  provided                                                                    
background. In  2004, a Senate  bill was brought  before the                                                                    
House Rules  Committee that  included the  additional duties                                                                    
of  the 911  coordinator to  the DMVA  Division of  Homeland                                                                    
Security  and Emergency  Management in  an effort  to secure                                                                    
potential  federal grant  dollars  for  911 enhancements.  A                                                                    
prerequisite for  receiving the  grant funding was  having a                                                                    
coordinator designation in  place; the responsibilities were                                                                    
to coordinate  911 communications in communities  around the                                                                    
state,  set  uniform standards  for  911,  look for  federal                                                                    
grant  monies   for  911,  and  enhance   capabilities.  The                                                                    
position was an "other duties  as assigned" position with no                                                                    
funding. The federal grants did not materialize.                                                                                
10:27:45 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair   Hawker  summarized   that  the   legislature  had                                                                    
provided for  the position in  the 2004 legislation  but had                                                                    
not funded  the position  with a fiscal  note, and  that the                                                                    
position  has never  been funded  by the  legislature; there                                                                    
was  only  the  hope  that  federal  grant  money  would  be                                                                    
available. Mr. O'Hare agreed.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Hawker  summarized that  the position  existed, was                                                                    
not  funded,  and  was  not  filled.  He  thought  the  next                                                                    
question  proposed   in  the  legislation  was   moving  the                                                                    
coordinator to DPS and securing  funding for it. The funding                                                                    
question in HES had resulted  in reverting to the A version.                                                                    
He queried the perspective of DPS.                                                                                              
SUE   STANCLIFF,   SPECIAL    ASSISTANT,   OFFICE   OF   THE                                                                    
COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, was uneasy about                                                                    
referring  to a  CS that  had not  yet been  adopted by  the                                                                    
Finance  Committee. Co-Chair  Hawker said  she could  answer                                                                    
the questions  under the hypothetical that  the position was                                                                    
moved from DMVA to DPS.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Stancliff replied  that DPS  had worked  with the  bill                                                                    
sponsor and was  willing to take the  responsibility on. The                                                                    
department believed  a real coordinator would  be needed and                                                                    
had prepared a fiscal note to that effect.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  how much  funding  the agency  would                                                                    
request. Ms.  Stancliff replied that  the fiscal  note would                                                                    
require one full-time person to  act as the 911 coordinator;                                                                    
the initial cost  to set up the position for  FY 11 would be                                                                    
$162,700;  future   years  would  require   $151,000,  which                                                                    
included the required CPA training.                                                                                             
10:31:45 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Hawker asked  whether  the  committee wanted  more                                                                    
information about the coordinator position.                                                                                     
Representative Kelly summarized  that another state employee                                                                    
would be added  at significant cost. He  commented that most                                                                    
areas already  had the certification  and asked  whether the                                                                    
issue was a local one.                                                                                                          
AUDIE   HOLLOWAY,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF  ALASKA   STATE                                                                    
TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, testified in support                                                                    
of  the CPR  qualifications,  which  the department  thought                                                                    
were very important. He added  that state troopers and about                                                                    
several thousand  eighth-graders would  be working  with the                                                                    
American Heart Association  to get more CPR  training out to                                                                    
Mr.  Holloway  stated  that  the  issue  was  the  disparity                                                                    
between  what  is  available  in   urban  and  rural  areas.                                                                    
Currently, nearly any person with  a cell phone or land line                                                                    
thinks they  can call 911 and  reach a live person;  that is                                                                    
not the  case in  many Alaskan  rural villages.  He reported                                                                    
that  the department  had not  been  doing as  much as  they                                                                    
should  with  911  because   the  coordinator  position  was                                                                    
expected to address the issue.                                                                                                  
Mr. Holloway informed the committee  that the department had                                                                    
discovered that  over 60 percent  of business and  911 calls                                                                    
were made  from cell phones.  Most of the state  trooper 911                                                                    
centers are subcontracted through  local agencies; they have                                                                    
a  good working  relationship  that they  want to  maintain.                                                                    
Many of  the 911 calls  were going to many  different places                                                                    
and  not  necessarily to  a  Public  Safety Answering  Point                                                                    
(PSAP) qualified to provide 911  services. Some of the calls                                                                    
were  going to  business offices  within a  village or  city                                                                    
that  could be  closed,  a village  public safety  officer's                                                                    
phone, or  a recorder  saying "call 911."  He did  not think                                                                    
the public was being served as well as it should be.                                                                            
10:36:20 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Holloway referenced  changing  technology and  believed                                                                    
the  department should  be prepared  to collect  information                                                                    
from  more  than just  a  phone  call.  He thought  the  911                                                                    
coordinator  position was  needed  to set  up the  policies,                                                                    
procedures, education,  and training  necessary to  meet the                                                                    
public's expectation  of what services should  be available.                                                                    
For  instance,  the  public  should be  able  to  send  text                                                                    
messages and photographs and be able  to use a cell phone to                                                                    
call 911 and get  somewhere productive. Currently, there are                                                                    
places in  the state  where it  is not  clear where  the 911                                                                    
call would  end up, causing  delays while the call  is moved                                                                    
to the appropriate place.                                                                                                       
Mr. Holloway  hoped for  collaboration with  local personnel                                                                    
so that when  they could not provide a  response there would                                                                    
be  an ultimate  PSAP number  that  would be  able to  offer                                                                    
assistance.  He also  hoped to  know  more about  developing                                                                    
technology and  work with  communication providers  (such as                                                                    
the Alaska Telephone Association)  interested in helping the                                                                    
state with the issue. Providers  are mandated by law to send                                                                    
911 calls  to someplace  where the  calls will  be answered;                                                                    
there currently  is a lot  of confusion about where  to send                                                                    
the calls.                                                                                                                      
Mr. Holloway  stressed that the  priority was that  a person                                                                    
dialing 911 would get an answer from a person.                                                                                  
10:39:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Hawker  queried funding  sources for  the position.                                                                    
He asked whether  there was a way to  access 911 surcharges.                                                                    
Mr.  Holloway  believed  that  the state  did  not  get  the                                                                    
surcharges; local organizations did.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Hawker thought something  was missing regarding the                                                                    
funding source.                                                                                                                 
Representative  Fairclough supported  the  fiscal note.  She                                                                    
noted  that the  911 system  needed structure  and that  the                                                                    
lack  of  structure was  putting  communities  at risk.  She                                                                    
pointed out that requiring CPR  could be put on statute, and                                                                    
that  communities  need  to  develop  procedures  for  local                                                                    
protocol standards.  The CS  could allow  the state  to work                                                                    
with individual  communities to set  up a 911  structure and                                                                    
standardize training.                                                                                                           
Representative Kelly  acknowledged that  the idea  was good,                                                                    
but pointed  out differences in services  in different areas                                                                    
of the state. He referred  to law enforcement positions that                                                                    
had already been approved and  stated concerns about another                                                                    
state  employee position.  He did  not want  to promise  911                                                                    
services immediately,  though he wanted  that to be  a goal.                                                                    
He also  wanted to know how  to get a person  trained in any                                                                    
given remote  location and  what could  happen if  there was                                                                    
not such a person. He  was concerned about liability as well                                                                    
as increased costs.                                                                                                             
10:43:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Holloway   responded  that  the  state   troopers  were                                                                    
expected to  respond as  quickly as  possible to  the calls,                                                                    
wherever  they  originated.  He  thought  the  choices  were                                                                    
continuing the  current practice of letting  the system grow                                                                    
organically and  chaotically, or acquiring a  coordinator to                                                                    
organize a set  of rules to provide  statewide standards for                                                                    
at  least minimal  response. He  acknowledged that  it could                                                                    
take time to answer calls  from remote areas, but thought it                                                                    
would be  faster than  the current  system. He  believed the                                                                    
state  did well  getting assistance  to people  in emergency                                                                    
situations in  difficult circumstances. He pointed  out that                                                                    
there were  over 700 search-and-rescue calls  each year; the                                                                    
process could go faster with a more organized system.                                                                           
Representative  Kelly acknowledged  the  work already  being                                                                    
done.  He  was concerned  about  giving  the state  troopers                                                                    
another set of conditions and  wondered whether the task was                                                                    
more  appropriately  left  with individual  communities.  He                                                                    
reiterated  concerns  with  the  fiscal note  and  an  added                                                                    
Representative   Salmon  spoke   to   challenges  in   rural                                                                    
communities. He provided an example  of a woman in a village                                                                    
whose life was  saved by a person trained in  CPR. He wanted                                                                    
the system related to CPR  training and 911 capability to be                                                                    
developed  further.   He  stated   that  he   supported  the                                                                    
10:48:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Thomas stated that  he represented what he called                                                                    
"urban villages," with troopers  in Haines, Hoonah, Cordova,                                                                    
and  Craig.  He  asked  who   the  dispatcher  was  for  the                                                                    
locations. Mr.  Holloway responded that calls  for Southeast                                                                    
usually    went   through    Ketchikan   and    then   local                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Thomas  asked  how the  positions  and  training                                                                    
would  be  funded  in the  smaller  locations.  He  wondered                                                                    
whether   the   burden  would   be   placed   back  on   the                                                                    
municipalities.  Mr. Holloway  replied  that  he shared  the                                                                    
concerns. He  pointed out that most  communities require CPR                                                                    
and that the  training could be done  effectively online. He                                                                    
hoped that  the proposed coordinator position  would be able                                                                    
to access grant  funds to train people around  the state. He                                                                    
believed that  the state should  assist [financially]  if it                                                                    
requires standards. He noted that funds are available.                                                                          
Vice-Chair   Thomas   pointed   out  that   volunteer   fire                                                                    
departments in many smaller  communities offer CPR training.                                                                    
He noted  that 911  calls do not  always go  through trooper                                                                    
dispatch. Mr.  Holloway agreed; the  state troopers  are the                                                                    
recipient  of  other  people's  initial  911  calls  through                                                                    
locals,  subcontractors, fire  departments, and  other local                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Thomas noted  that  most commercial  fishermen's                                                                    
calls go through the Coast Guard.                                                                                               
Representative  Austerman commented  that he  wanted a  more                                                                    
in-depth discussion  regarding the larger policy  issue of a                                                                    
state-wide 911 system.                                                                                                          
10:52:00 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS SHERWIN, VICE-PRESIDENT  OF ADVOCACY, PACIFIC MOUNTAIN                                                                    
AFFILIATE, AMERICAN HEART  ASSOCIATION (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of  HB 361.  He  reported  that  the                                                                    
American Heart Association (AHA)  was strongly supportive of                                                                    
efforts to  improve the  state's 911  system and  of filling                                                                    
the 911  coordinator position. He  agreed that there  were a                                                                    
lot  of  issues   to  be  worked  out  and   felt  that  the                                                                    
coordinator  could   oversee  the  process  and   work  with                                                                    
entities   like  the   AHA.  The   association  specifically                                                                    
supported putting a  system in place that  would assure that                                                                    
a caller  could reach a  person trained  in CPR and  able to                                                                    
walk the caller through until help arrived.                                                                                     
Mr. Sherwin spoke to concerns  and possible improvements for                                                                    
the  legislation.   The  association  would  like   the  CPR                                                                    
training provided to  be based on science and  have a hands-                                                                    
on practice component. He pointed  out differences between a                                                                    
person trained in giving CPR and  a person trained in how to                                                                    
provide  the  instruction to  someone  else  over the  phone                                                                    
(pre-arrival instruction).  A standard part of  training for                                                                    
a  certified emergency  medical dispatcher  usually includes                                                                    
how  to  provide  pre-arrival training  over  the  phone.  A                                                                    
person who is only trained in  giving CPR may not be able to                                                                    
provide  the  information over  the  phone.  He referred  to                                                                    
screen  protocol  that  can  help a  person  walk  a  caller                                                                    
through the process.                                                                                                            
10:57:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Hawker closed public testimony.                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Hawker noted  that the  bill before  the committee                                                                    
was still the original HES version.                                                                                             
HB  361  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  Committee  for  further                                                                    
10:59:26 AM                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 190 CS Work Draft N Version 040210 HB190.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 190
House Bill 190 SS - 4-2-10.doc HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 190
HB190 Sectional Analysis - FIN - 4-2-10.doc HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 190
HB 361 Sponsor Statement - Electronic.doc HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 361 Article.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 361 - Kenai Pen. Borough LTR[1].pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
CPRToday_Certification[1].pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
Carson City dispatcher helps save a life.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
Brookline 911 dispatcher helps save a life.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
AdultCPRCourse[1].pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
Visitor Industry Impacts 3_30.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 361 CS WORK DRAFT 26 LS 1478 R.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 190 Letter Rasmuson Foundation.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 190
HB 190 NEW FISCAL NOTE HSS.pdf HFIN 4/5/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 190