Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4386 (pcs) To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide medical [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...

H.R. 4386 (pcs) To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide medical [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4386

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to procure the development 
 and provision of improved and up-to-date communications equipment for 
          the New York City Fire Department, including radios.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 18, 2004

 Mrs. Maloney (for herself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Nadler, and Mr. 
   McNulty) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                    Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to procure the development 
 and provision of improved and up-to-date communications equipment for 
          the New York City Fire Department, including radios.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``9/11 Can You Hear Me Now Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) After two terrorist attacks it is time to fix the 
        communications system for the New York City Fire Department.
            (2) During its response to the 1993 bombing of the World 
        Trade Center in New York City, the New York City Fire 
        Department's radios did not work in the twin towers of the 
        World Trade Center. The resulting lack of communication 
        complicated operations but did not result in the death of any 
        firefighter.
            (3) Eight years later, on September 11, 2001, the World 
        Trade Center was attacked again and the fire department's radio 
        system failed again.
            (4) Soon before the collapse of Tower One of the World 
        Trade Center, fire department officials tried in vain to radio 
        firefighters to evacuate the building.
            (5) The firefighters' radio system failed the firefighters 
        in Tower One and as a result many were not able to receive this 
        warning. The failure of the radio system was largely 
        responsible for the death of many of the 343 firefighters who 
        died in the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers.
            (6) Since September 11, 2001, the fire department has taken 
        steps to improve the communications system that failed them. 
        However, many tall buildings in New York City have not 
        installed repeaters that are needed to boost signals, and the 
        signals are often lost in high-rise buildings and underground.
            (7) In August 2003, New York City experienced a blackout. 
        During the blackout the fire department's radio system was 
        again found not to work reliably during emergency situations or 
        in high buildings.
            (8) The dispatch system currently used by the New York City 
        Fire Department was acquired in the early 1970s and hampers the 
        ability of the department to fully communicate with its 
        firefighters and provide appropriate detailed information about 
        the buildings and locations to which they respond.
            (9) Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
        executive branch officials have repeatedly warned that future 
        terror attacks are not a matter of if, but when. The Secretary 
        of Homeland Security has identified New York City as one of the 
        main terrorist targets.
            (10) With New York City remaining a top terrorist target, 
        such communications system should be a national priority.
            (11) A new state-of-the-art communications system and 
        upgrades to the critical information dispatch system for the 
        New York City Fire Department should be--
                    (A) seamless from the receipt of a 911 call to the 
                dispatch of the firefighter; and
                    (B) interoperable with other public safety offices 
                within the City of New York.

SEC. 3. REQUIREMENT TO PROCURE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FOR NEW YORK CITY 
              FIRE DEPARTMENT.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, by not 
later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, procure 
development and provision of a communications system for the New York 
City Fire Department, including appropriate radios for the entire 
department and upgrades to the critical information dispatch system of 
the department.
    (b) Requirements.--
            (1) Radios.--Radios procured pursuant to this section must 
        be capable of operating in all locations, and under all 
        conditions, in which firefighters can reasonably be expected to 
        work in responding to an emergency in New York City.
            (2) Supplemental communication device.--Any communications 
        system procured pursuant to this section must include provision 
        to each firefighter of a supplemental radio communication 
        device that--
                    (A) allows the firefighter to transmit audio and 
                radio emergency notification warning signals to other 
                firefighters whenever the firefighter is in distress 
                and in immediate need of assistance; and
                    (B) has the capability to operate automatically in 
                a passive mode by transmitting audio and radio messages 
                that will relay the firefighter's identification and 
                location if the firefighter--
                            (i) becomes incapacitated and motionless; 
                        and
                            (ii) is unable to physically transmit a 
                        call for help.
            (3) Dispatch system.--Upgrades to the critical information 
        dispatch system procured pursuant to this section must--
                    (A) allow the fire department to communicate with 
                firefighters in all locations, and under all 
                conditions, in which firefighters can reasonably be 
                expected to work in responding to an emergency in New 
                York City;
                    (B) provide useful, detailed data concerning all 
                likely terrorist target locations in the City of New 
                York; and
                    (C) be capable of providing to responding 
                firefighters, instantaneously, details about particular 
                buildings and other locations to assist them in making 
                decisions about how to mitigate a terrorist attack and 
                save lives and property.
    (c) Testing.--Radios, any dispatch system upgrades, and 
supplemental communication devices procured pursuant to this section 
must have been tested to ensure they will operate in all locations and 
under all conditions in which firefighters can reasonably be expected 
to work in responding to an emergency in New York City.
    (d) Coordination.--In carrying out this section the Secretary shall 
coordinate with the City of New York to ensure that the communications 
system procured under this section is--
            (1) compatible with the plans of the City of New York to 
        upgrade its 911 system; and
            (2) interoperable with other public safety communications 
        systems.
    (e) Progress Report.--The Secretary shall submit to the Congress a 
report on progress made in carrying out this section, on--
            (1) February 26, 2005; and
            (2) September 11, 2005.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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