The Public Safety Foundation of America (PSFA) is about recognizing and addressing needs in the public safety communications community.
The PSFA was established in 2002 when a need to provide financial assistance for agencies struggling to deploy enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) was recognized. Under the PSFA’s original mission, five rounds of grants were completed and included the delivery of more than $13 million to over 200 agencies in 40 states.
Three years later, the implementation of E9-1-1 across the country had improved, but the need existed to measure how effectively the technology was working. In 2005, the PSFA awarded a grant of $750,000 to Project LOCATE (Locate our Citizens in Times of Emergencies) to conduct independent testing of wireless location data delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).
Shortly after Project LOCATE’s grant announcement, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast of the U.S. The PSFA immediately collected and distributed over $100,000 directly to more than 200 telecommunicators in the affected areas.
Funding for the PSFA has been provided by a variety of sources, including donations from corporations, APCO members and staff and the Wireless E-911: PSAP Readiness Fund, a non-profit organization established by Nextel Communications and dedicated to supporting the timely implementation of wireless E-911.
The PSFA continues to provide a measure of financial relief through its Sunshine Fund to support public safety professionals or immediate family members who face disasters or other tragedies in their lives.
The PSFA Advisory Committee, comprised of a cross section of public safety organizations, ensures broad-based input on the solicitation and use of grant funds.