OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Senate has approved legislation to enhance Oklahoma’s 911 services.

According to Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, Senate principal author of House Bill 1590, the bill would modernize the state’s 911 services. HB 1590 is also known as the Haiden Fleming Memorial Act, named after Haiden Fleming, a 22-year-old who died after a cardiac arrest incident.

“I don’t think many Oklahomans realize that our current 911 system is still using technology from 40 years ago. It’s even more challenging in rural counties that sometimes have to piggyback off one another to answer calls. HB 1590 would enable us to move to Next Generation 911 (NG911), by giving us the ability to create and maintain the infrastructure we need to move analog to digital technology. This will decrease response times, better identify caller locations and better coordinate responses,” Murdock said.

Co-Author, Sen. Blake Stephens, R-Tahlequah, suggested naming the bill after Haiden, a former student.

“Haiden had just finished having lunch with his family when he suffered a cardiac incident. They lived very close to a county line, which caused some difficulties with 911 and emergency responders who were in different coverage areas,” Stephens said.

“His family wanted us to name this bill for Haiden to help draw attention to the need to modernize our 911 system.”

According to officials, HB 1590 would change the fee for devices capable of calling 911 from 75 cents to $1.25 a month. The bill would also require telecommunicators in Oklahoma to receive CPR training to better assist callers until help arrives.

“This bill came about after I heard from several of my constituents who called 911 during an emergency only to have to wait while first responders tried to locate them or operators shuffled their calls trying to find the right dispatch service to help,” said House principal author Rep. Jim Grego, R-Wilburton. 

“I’m thankful for the Senate passing this bill. I look forward to getting the final version through the House and signed into law. This will bring a much-needed update to our 911 system so people in our rural communities receive much faster service that could save lives.”

HB 1590 now returns to the House for approval of Senate amendments.