Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 5. LOCAL AGENCIES [50001 - 57607]

  ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

DIVISION 2. CITIES, COUNTIES, AND OTHER AGENCIES [53000 - 55821]

  ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

PART 1. POWERS AND DUTIES COMMON TO CITIES, COUNTIES, AND OTHER AGENCIES [53000 - 54999.7]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

CHAPTER 1. General [53000 - 53170]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

ARTICLE 6. Local Emergency Telephone Systems [53100 - 53122]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005. )

53100.
  

(a) This article shall be known and may be cited as the Warren-911-Emergency Assistance Act.

(b) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid. There currently exist thousands of different emergency phone numbers throughout the state, and present telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries. Provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public service efforts by making it less difficult to quickly notify public safety personnel. Such a simplified means of procuring emergency services will result in the saving of life, a reduction in the destruction of property, quicker apprehension of criminals, and ultimately the saving of money. The Legislature further finds and declares that the establishment of a uniform, statewide emergency number is a matter of statewide concern and interest to all inhabitants and citizens of this state. It is the purpose of this act to establish the number “911” as the primary emergency telephone number for use in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of such units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in such a manner as to be able to quickly respond to any person calling the telephone number “911” seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 443.)

53100.5.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The provision of fire protection services, rescue services, emergency medical services, hazardous material response services, ambulance services, and other services related to the protection of lives and property is a matter of public safety and critical to the public peace, health, and safety of the state.

(b) It is in the public interest that emergency services be deployed quickly and efficiently in the interest of saving lives and reducing the damage or destruction of property.

(c) The establishment of a uniform, statewide policy regarding a public agency’s ability to receive and process emergency calls is a matter of statewide concern and an interest to all inhabitants and citizens of this state.

(d) The purpose of the act that added this section is to affirm and clarify a public agency’s duty, responsibility, and jurisdiction to establish and improve emergency communication procedures and quickly respond to any person calling the telephone number “911” seeking fire, medical, rescue, or other emergency services.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 389, Sec. 1. (SB 438) Effective January 1, 2020.)

53101.
  

“Public agency,” as used in this article, means the state, and any city, county, city and county, municipal corporation, public district, or public authority located in whole or in part within this state which provides or has authority to provide firefighting, police, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53102.
  

“Public safety agency,” as used in this article, means a functional division of a public agency which provides firefighting, police, medical, or other emergency services.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53103.
  

“Direct dispatch method,” as used in this article, means a telephone service providing for the dispatch of an appropriate emergency service unit upon receipt of a telephone request for such services and a decision as to the proper action to be taken.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53104.
  

“Relay method,” as used in this article, means a telephone service whereby pertinent information is noted by the recipient of a telephone request for emergency services, and is relayed to appropriate public safety agencies or other providers of emergency services for dispatch of an emergency service unit.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53105.
  

“Transfer method,” as used in this article, means a telephone service which receives telephone requests for emergency services and directly transfers such requests to an appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53106.
  

“Referral method,” as used in this article, means a telephone service which, upon the receipt of a telephone request for emergency services, provides the requesting party with the telephone number of the appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services. The use of the referral method shall only be used for nonemergency situations.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 443.)

53107.
  

“Basic system,” as used in this article, means a telephone service which automatically connects a person dialing the digits “911” to an established public safety answering point through normal telephone service facilities.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53108.
  

“Sophisticated system,” as used in this article, means a basic system with the additional capability of automatic identification of the caller’s number, holding the incoming call, reconnection on the same telephone line, clearing a telephone line, or automatic call routing or combinations of such capabilities.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53108.1.
  

“Incremental costs”, as used in this article, mean any costs necessary for the establishment of a system required by this article and recommended for reimbursement by the advisory committee established by Section 53115.1 other than costs for (1) a basic system, (2) a basic system with telephone central office identification, or (3) a system employing automatic call routing, which are reasonable, necessary and unique for the planning and efficient implementation of a local agency’s 911 system.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 443.)

53108.5.
  

“Division,” as used in this article, means the Public Safety Communications Division within the Office of Emergency Services.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 96. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53109.
  

Every local public agency within its respective jurisdiction shall establish and have in operation by December 31, 1985, a basic system as provided in this article, or be part of such a system.

The establishment of such systems shall be centralized to the extent feasible. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit or discourage in any way the formation of multijurisdictional or regional systems, and any system established pursuant to this article may include the territory of more than one public agency or may include a segment of the territory of a public agency.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 352.)

53109.5.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that environmental considerations in the Tahoe region have halted or delayed the development of facilities necessary for the establishment of a local emergency telephone system in that area.

Accordingly, local public agencies in the Tahoe region, as defined in subdivision (a) of Article II of Section 66801 of the Government Code, shall comply with Section 53109 by December 31, 1986, rather than by December 31, 1985.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 928, Sec. 1.)

53110.
  

(a) Every system shall include police, firefighting, and emergency medical and ambulance services, and may include other emergency services, in the discretion of the affected local public agency, such as poison control services, suicide prevention services, and civil defense services. The system may incorporate private ambulance service. In areas in which a public safety agency of the state provides emergency services, the system shall include the public safety agency or agencies.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a public agency shall not delegate, assign, or enter into a contract for “911” call processing services for the dispatch of emergency response resources except as provided in subdivision (c) or if the delegation or assignment is to, or the contract or agreement is with, another public agency.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the following entities may delegate or assign to a nonpublic agency, or contract with a nonpublic agency for, “911” call processing services only as described in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(1) A joint powers authority that delegated, assigned, or contracted for “911” call processing services on or before January 1, 2019, may continue to delegate, assign, or contract for those services and may, upon the expiration of the delegation, assignment, or contract, renegotiate or adopt new contracts, if the membership of the joint powers authority includes all public safety agencies that provide prehospital emergency medical services and the joint powers authority consents to the continued delegation, assignment, or renegotiation or adoption of the contract.

(2) A public agency that has delegated, assigned, or contracted for “911” call processing services on or before January 1, 2019, may continue to do so with the concurrence of the public safety agencies that provide prehospital emergency medical services. If a public safety agency does not concur with the delegation, assignment, or contracting of the “911” call processing services within its jurisdictional boundaries, the following shall apply:

(A) The public agency may continue to delegate, assign, or contract for “911” call processing services as described in this paragraph for the remaining concurring public safety agencies, and the nonconcurring public safety agency shall discharge “911” call processing duties within its jurisdictional boundaries. Notwithstanding this subparagraph, if the delegation, assignment, or contract provided the option for one or more public safety agencies to withdraw from the delegation, assignment, or contract, the terms of that delegation, assignment, or contract shall prevail.

(B) If continuing the delegation, assignment, or contract described in subparagraph (A) is not feasible, the withdrawing public safety agency shall assume “911” call processing services for the service area originally subject to delegation, assignment, or contract.

(d) This section does not prohibit a public agency or public safety agency from entering into an agreement for backup “911” call processing services.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 389, Sec. 2. (SB 438) Effective January 1, 2020.)

53111.
  

The digits “911” shall be the primary emergency telephone number within the system, but a public agency or public safety agency may maintain a separate secondary backup number, and shall maintain a separate number for nonemergency telephone calls.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1005.)

53112.
  

(a) All systems shall be designed to meet the specific requirements of each community and public agency served by the system. Every system, whether basic or sophisticated, shall be designed to have the capability of using at least three of the methods specified in Sections 53103 to 53106, inclusive, in response to emergency calls. The Legislature finds and declares that the most critical aspect of the design of any system is the procedure established for handling a telephone request for emergency services.

(b) To maximize efficiency and use of the system, all pay telephones within each system shall enable a caller to dial “911” for emergency services, and to reach an operator by dialing “0,” without the necessity of inserting a coin. At those “911” public safety answering points serving an area where 5 percent or more of the population, in accordance with the latest United States census information, speak a specific primary language other than English, operators who speak that other language, in addition to English, shall be on duty or available through interagency telephone conference procedures at all times for “911” emergency services.

(c) Each system shall require installation of a telecommunications device capable of servicing the needs of the deaf or severely hard of hearing at the “911” public safety answering point or points. The device shall be compatible with devices furnished by telephone corporations pursuant to Section 2881 of the Public Utilities Code.

(d) By January 1, 2021, each public safety answering point shall deploy a text to 911 service that enables an individual to text “911” for emergency services that is capable of accepting Short Message Service (SMS) messages and Real-Time Text (RTT) messages.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 237, Sec. 1. (AB 1168) Effective January 1, 2020.)

53113.
  

The Legislature finds that, because of overlapping jurisdiction of public agencies, public safety agencies, and telephone service areas, a general overview or plan should be developed prior to the establishment of any system. In order to ensure that proper preparation and implementation of those systems is accomplished by all public agencies by December 31, 1985, the office, with the advice and assistance of the Attorney General, shall secure compliance by public agencies as provided in this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 97. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53114.
  

The office, with the advice and assistance of the Attorney General, shall coordinate the implementation of systems established pursuant to the provisions of this article. The office, with the advice and assistance of the Attorney General, shall assist local public agencies and local public safety agencies in obtaining financial help to establish emergency telephone service, and shall aid agencies in the formulation of concepts, methods, and procedures that will improve the operation of systems required by this article and that will increase cooperation between public safety agencies.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 98. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53114.1.
  

To accomplish the responsibilities specified in this article, the division is directed to consult at regular intervals with the State Fire Marshal, the State Department of Public Health, the Office of Traffic Safety, a local representative from a city, a local representative from a county, the public utilities in this state providing telephone service, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. These agencies shall provide all necessary assistance and consultation to the division to enable it to perform its duties specified in this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 28, Sec. 29. (SB 71) Effective June 27, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 93 of Ch. 28.)

53114.2.
  

On or before December 31, 1976, and each even-numbered year thereafter, after consultation with all agencies specified in Section 53114.1, the office shall review and update technical and operational standards for public agency systems.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 99. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53115.
  

The office shall monitor all emergency telephone systems to ensure they comply with minimal operational and technical standards as established by the office. If any system does not comply the office shall notify in writing the public agency or agencies operating the system of its deficiencies. The public agency shall bring the system into compliance with the operational and technical standards within 60 days of notice by the office. Failure to comply within this time shall subject the public agency to action by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 53116.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 100. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53115.1.
  

(a) There is in state government the State 911 Advisory Board.

(b) The advisory board shall be comprised of the following members appointed by the Governor who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

(1) The Chief of the Public Safety Communications Division shall serve as the nonvoting chair of the board.

(2) One representative from the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

(3) Two representatives on the recommendation of the California Police Chiefs Association.

(4) Two representatives on the recommendation of the California State Sheriffs’ Association.

(5) Two representatives on the recommendation of the California Fire Chiefs Association.

(6) Two representatives on the recommendation of the CalNENA Executive Board.

(7) One representative on the joint recommendation of the executive boards of the state chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc.

(c) Recommending authorities shall give great weight and consideration to the knowledge, training, and expertise of the appointee with respect to their experience within the California 911 system. Board members should have at least two years of experience as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) manager or county coordinator, except where a specific person is designated as a member.

(d) Members of the advisory board shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor, but may not serve more than two consecutive two-year terms, except as follows:

(1) The presiding Chief of the Public Safety Communications Division shall serve for the duration of his or her tenure.

(2) Four of the members shall serve an initial term of three years.

(e) Advisory board members shall not receive compensation for their service on the board, but may be reimbursed for travel and per diem for time spent in attending meetings of the board.

(f) The advisory board shall meet quarterly in public sessions in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2). The division shall provide administrative support to the State 911 Advisory Board. The State 911 Advisory Board, at its first meeting, shall adopt bylaws and operating procedures consistent with this article and establish committees as necessary.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any member of the advisory board may designate a person to act as that member in his or her place and stead for all purposes, as though the member were personally present.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 28, Sec. 30. (SB 71) Effective June 27, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 93 of Ch. 28.)

53115.2.
  

(a) The State 911 Advisory Board shall advise the office on all of the following subjects:

(1) Policies, practices, and procedures for the California 911 Emergency Communications Office.

(2) Technical and operational standards for the California 911 system consistent with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) standards.

(3) Training standards for county coordinators and Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) managers.

(4) Budget, funding, and reimbursement decisions related to the State Emergency Number Account.

(5) Proposed projects and studies conducted or funded by the State Emergency Number Account.

(6) Expediting the rollout of Enhanced 911 Phase II technology.

(b) Upon request of a local public agency, the board shall conduct a hearing on any conflict between a local public agency and the office regarding a final plan that has not been approved by the office pursuant to Section 53114. The board shall meet within 30 days following the request, and shall make a recommendation to resolve the conflict to the office within 90 days following the initial hearing by the board pursuant to the request.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 101. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53115.3.
  

When proposed implementation of the 911 system by a single public agency within its jurisdiction may adversely affect the implementation of the system by a neighboring public agency or agencies, such neighboring public agency may request that the office evaluate the impact of implementation by the proposing public agency and evaluate and weigh that impact in its decision to approve or disapprove the proposing public agency’s final plan pursuant to Section 53115. In order to effectuate this process, each city shall file a notice of filing of its final plan with each adjacent city and with the county in which the proposing public agency is located at the same time such final plan is filed with the office and each county shall file a notice of filing of its final plan with each city within the county and each adjacent county at the time the final plan is filed with the office. Any public agency wishing to request review pursuant to this section shall file its request with the office within 30 days of filing of the final plan for which review is sought.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 102. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53116.
  

The Attorney General may, on behalf of the office or on his or her own initiative, commence judicial proceedings to enforce compliance by any public agency or public utility providing telephone service with the provisions of this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 103. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53118.
  

The Legislature declares that a major purpose in enacting this article is to eliminate instances in which a responding emergency service refuses to render aid to the requester because the requester is outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the emergency service. A public safety agency which receives a request through the system for emergency services outside its jurisdictional boundaries shall transmit the request to the proper public safety answering point or public safety agency utilizing the methods described in Sections 53103 to 53105, inclusive. In the event an emergency unit is dispatched in response to a request through the system, such unit shall render its services to the requesting party without regard to whether the unit is operating outside its normal jurisdictional boundaries until properly relieved by the public safety agency responsible for that geographical area. Public agencies within a single system and public agencies in different systems but whose jurisdictional boundaries are contiguous are authorized to enter into joint powers agreements or any other form of written cooperative agreement to implement this requirement. These agreements may further provide for a public safety agency to render aid outside its normal jurisdictional boundaries when need arises on a day-to-day basis.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 443.)

53119.
  

Any telephone corporation serving rural telephone areas that cannot currently provide enhanced “911” emergency telephone service capable of selective routing, automatic number identification, or automatic location identification shall present to the office a comprehensive plan detailing a schedule by which those facilities will be converted to be compatible with the enhanced emergency telephone system.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 104. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53120.
  

The office shall not delay implementation of the enhanced “911” emergency telephone system in those portions of cities or counties, or both, served by a local telephone corporation that has equipment compatible with the enhanced “911” emergency telephone system.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 353, Sec. 105. (SB 820) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 129 of Ch. 353.)

53121.
  

(a) The Office of Emergency Services shall develop a plan and timeline of target dates for the testing, implementation, and operation of a Next Generation 911 emergency communication system, including text to 911 service, throughout California.

(b) In order to maximize efficiency and contain costs, the Next Generation 911 emergency communication system shall incorporate, where consistent with public safety and technologically feasible, shared infrastructure and elements of other public safety and emergency communications networks, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Public safety communications identified in the annual plan required by subdivision (b) of Section 15277.

(2) Local and regional public safety broadband networks authorized by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

(3) Public safety broadband networks authorized by the federal Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96).

(4) Public safety radio and communications facilities used for the purpose of public warnings pursuant to Section 15254.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 926, Sec. 1. (SB 1211) Effective January 1, 2015.)

53122.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Office” means the Office of Emergency Services.

(2) “Telecommunications service” has the same meaning as defined in Section 2892.1 of the Public Utilities Code, but does not include voice communication provided by a provider of satellite telephone service.

(b) (1) On or before July 1, 2020, the office, by regulation, shall adopt appropriate thresholds for determining whether a telecommunications service outage constitutes a community isolation outage based on the risks to public health and safety resulting from the outage.

(2) In adopting regulations pursuant to paragraph (1), the office shall comply with the rulemaking process in Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2, and issue, on or before January 1, 2020, the notice required by Section 11346.5.

(3) Notwithstanding any other law, the office may issue emergency regulations in accordance with the process in Section 11346.1 if necessary to meet the deadline in paragraph (1).

(c) Upon the adoption of regulations pursuant to subdivision (b), all providers of telecommunications service that provide access to 911 service shall notify the office whenever a community isolation outage occurs that limits their customers’ ability to make 911 calls or receive emergency notifications. The community isolation outage notification shall be provided within 60 minutes of discovery of the outage by the provider, and the office shall be responsible for notifying any applicable county office of emergency services, the sheriff of any county, and any public safety answering point affected by the outage. The community isolation outage notification to the office shall be by a medium specified by the office, and shall include the telecommunications service provider’s contact name and calling number and a description of the estimated area affected by the outage and the approximate communities, including cities, counties, and regions, affected by the outage. The telecommunications services provider shall also notify the office by a medium specified by the office of both of the following:

(1) The estimated time to repair the outage.

(2) When achieved, the restoration of service.

(d) The telecommunications service provider shall ensure that the calling number provided to the office with the community isolation outage notification is staffed by a contact person who shall be available to respond to inquiries about the outage at all times until the provider notifies the office that service has been restored.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (c), the office shall keep community isolation outage notifications confidential and shall not disclose the contents of the notifications.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 412, Sec. 1. (SB 670) Effective October 2, 2019.)

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