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Health Care Revolt demands restored funding for Rhode Island 911



Health Care Revolt, an organization of Rhode Island health care workers, health professionals, students and consumers, launched a petition demanding full funding for Rhode Island’s underfunded and outdated 911 system.

68 percent of tax dollars raised to support 911 have been diverted by the legislature for other purposes. Rhode Island’s 911 system lacks:

  • A Global Positioning System which puts rural Rhode Islanders at particular risk. The current system can only determine caller’s location within ¾ of a square mile, which doesn’t help emergency medical services find a cell phone caller in trouble on a dark night.
  • Emergency Medical Dispatch, where trained health professionals provide real time support and instruction to callers witnessing a medical emergency until emergency medical service arrives, and significantly quadruples survival to the hospital for victims of witnessed cardiac arrest.
  • Medical Translations, an important process to support the work of our EMTs and paramedics responding to people who speak limited English.

In March of 2018, the FCC shamed the Rhode Island legislature for diverting 911 funds to balance the budget.

Health Care Revolt aims to get 10,000 signatures demanding full funding of 911 to support improved staffing and operations.

[From a press release]

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Health Care Revolt brings consumers together with health care workers, health care professional students, business leaders and unions to advocate for a health care system that is for people, not for profiteers. Health Care Revolt is a program of the George Wiley Center, Rhode Island’s most experienced and most effective community organizers, for the purpose of creating social and economic justice through changes in public policy. The George Wiley Center fought for and won free breakfast for all Rhode Island school kids in need, reduced bus fares for the elderly and disabled, and works to preserve access to heat and light for 20,000 Rhode Islanders annually threatened with utility cut offs. It was founded by anti-poverty activist Henry Shelton in 1981, and named after late, local Civil Rights and anti-poverty activist, George Wiley.