CNMI in need of 911 system - top emergency official

RNZ reports funding needs to be found to implement a 911 response system in the Northern Marianas according to Fire and Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Clyde Norita.

Mr Norita's comments come after the response time to a recent household fire came under scrutiny from family members.

He said the CNMI currently has no specialised system to handle emergency calls.

"Currently it's just telephone lines, that's all it is," he said.

"There is no connected software or terminal that we have to type in the information. Just a simple telephone line, like a household telephone line, that's all it is. There's basically eight numbers associated with the 911. The route to get to the 911 is that we need to basically have the appropriate systems, softwares and hardwares."

Mr Norita said a bill is due before the legislature to establish a 911 system but funding could be an issue and any system will also have to negotiate neighbourhoods that are often not numbered.

Photo: RNZI (CNMI does not have a specialised system to handle emergency calls and relies on normal telephone lines).