H. B. 4507

(By Delegates Modesitt (By Request) and Azinger (By Request))

[Introduced February 11, 2000; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article six, chapter twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand, nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to further amend said article, by adding thereto a new section, designated section twelve, all relating to local emergency telephone systems; providing for the rotation or the alternating of requests for dispatching emergency towing services; and qualifications to operate a wrecker service.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That section two, article six, chapter twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that article six be further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section twelve, all to read as follows:
§24-6-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) "Commercial mobile radio service provider" or "CMRS provider", means cellular licensees, broadband personal communications services (PCS) licensees, and specialized mobile radio (SMR) providers, as those terms are defined by the federal communication commission, which offer real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network, and includes resellers of any commercial mobile radio service.
(2) "County answering point" means a facility to which enhanced emergency telephone system calls for a county are initially routed for response, and where county personnel respond to specific requests for emergency service by directly dispatching the appropriate emergency service provider, relaying a message to the appropriate provider or transferring the call to the appropriate provider.
(3) "Emergency services organization" means the organization established under article five, chapter fifteen of this code.
(4) "Emergency service provider" means any emergency services organization or public safety unit.
(5) "Emergency telephone system" means a telephone system which through normal telephone service facilities automatically connects a person dialing the primary emergency telephone number to an established public agency answering point, but does not include an enhanced emergency telephone system.
(6) "Enhanced emergency telephone system" means a telephone system which automatically connects the person dialing the primary emergency number to the county answering point and in which the telephone network system automatically provides to personnel receiving the call, immediately on answering the call, information on the location and the telephone number from which the call is being made, and upon direction from the personnel receiving the call routes or dispatches the call by telephone, radio or any other appropriate means of communication to emergency service providers that serve the location from which the call is made.
(7) "Public agency" means the state, and any municipality, county, public district or public authority which provides or has authority to provide fire fighting, police, ambulance, medical, rescue or other emergency services.
(8) "Public safety unit" means a functional division of a public agency which provides fire fighting, police, medical, rescue or other emergency services.
(9) "Telephone company" means any public utility and any CMRS provider, which is engaged in the provision of telephone service whether primarily by means of wire or wireless facilities.
(10) "Comprehensive plan" means a plan pertaining to the installing, modifying or replacing of telephone switching equipment; a telephone utility's response in a timely manner to requests for emergency telephone service by a public agency; a telephone utility's responsibility to report to the public service commission; charges and tariffs for the services and facilities provided by a telephone utility; and access to an emergency telephone system by emergency service organizations.
(11) "Technical and operational standards" means those standards of telephone equipment and processes necessary for the implementation of the comprehensive plan as defined in subdivision (10) of this subsection.
(12) "Certified towing training" means a nationally recognized towing training program such as: TRAA, Wreckmaster, University of Georgia Towing Program, Ross Kinman Schools and Joe Scroga & Tom Luciano.
(13) "Secure storage" means a parcel of real estate with an enclosed building encircled by an eight foot high fence, in accordance with the department of highways code.
(14) "Regular business hours" means having regular business hours from Monday through Friday from 8:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(15) "Special equipment" means: Heavy duty wrecker, Landoll trailers, fork lifts, air bags, mat jacks, fuel spill containment, banding equipment, cut-off saws and a labor force sufficient to handle cleanup of an incident scene.
§24-6-12. Rotating dispatch for emergency service required; qualified towing service.

(a) All public safety units and public agencies that have an emergency telephone system or an enhanced emergency telephone system shall maintain a list of qualified towing services in their county of operation as registered with the public service commission, and from that list all requests for emergency towing service shall be assigned among those services solely upon a rotating basis: Provided, That in the event the emergency situation requires special equipment not provided by the towing service first called, then the dispatcher shall continue calling in rotation until a qualified towing service is reached which possesses the special equipment needed.
(b) "A qualified towing service" must meet the following minimum requirements: Be registered as a common carrier with the public service commission; all drivers shall have had certified towing training; have towing service insurance of $1,000,000; all equipment must have been inspected and approved; the service must provide twenty-four hour, seven-day service; must have a secure area with regular business hours; must have a business license; and must provide workers' compensation coverage to all drivers.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide expeditious, fair and qualified emergency towing service to the public.

§24-6-12 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new law that would be added.