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California's 40th District

Jan 24, 2022 | In The News, Wildfires

U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) recently sponsored bipartisan legislation that would improve communication and information sharing among first responders during wildfires. 

“The ability for first responders to quickly and securely share information during a wildfire is critical and can make the difference between life or death,” Rep. Kim said on Jan. 20.

The congresswoman on Jan. 14 introduced the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Wildland Fire Communications and Information Dissemination Act, H.R. 6410, with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), who both serve on the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which is considering the bill.

H.R. 6410 follows an October 2021 wildfire roundtable hosted by Rep. Kim in which representatives from several California first responder groups and the National Weather Service discussed wildfire coordination and response efforts in the state’s 39th District and across Southern California, according to Rep. Kim’s staff. 

“After hearing directly from first responders about the need to improve communications and information sharing, I’m proud to introduce a bipartisan bill that aims to do just that,” said Rep. Kim. “I urge my colleagues to support the NIST Wildland Fire Communications Information Dissemination Act, and I will keep working to create responsible policies to support those on the front lines of preventing, detecting and containing wildfires and keeping civilians safe.”

If enacted, H.R. 6410 would require NIST to develop guidance and metrics on delivering real-time data to firefighters; provide recommendations to the National Interagency Fire Center by conducting field tests and collaborating with communications technology manufacturers; and work with the Government Accountability Office to report on the National Interagency Fire Center’s implementation of the recommendations, according to Rep. Kim’s bill summary.

Similar provisions offered by Rep. Kim as amendments to the Democrats’ National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program Act, H.R. 5781, received approval when the House Science, Space and Technology Committee passed the bill during a November 2021 markup session.

“Californians in my district and across the state know all too well the devastating impacts of wildfires,” Rep. Kim said at the time. “I am committed to working on commonsense policies that will help those on the frontlines of keeping communities safe do their dangerous jobs.”

The Ripon Advance

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