Back to Top

Public Safety

Explanation of Charges



In 1990, the General Assembly declared it in the public interest to provide the toll free number 911 for an individual within the commonwealth to gain rapid, direct access to emergency aid.  This original law has come to be known as Act 78. 


Act 78 authorizes telephone companies to collect up to $1.50 per line for 911 services.  This charge is reflected on your bill as a 911 surcharge.  The telephone companies then submit the funds collecting to the counties to help cover the costs of providng 911 service.  Armstrong County is currently authorized to collect the full $1.50 charge.    


In August of 2000, regulations were created that established technical standards, personnel certification and training standards, and quality assurance standards for all 9-1-1 systems and employees that operate and work in jurisdictions funded under Act 78.


In December of 2003, Act 56 was signed into law, which further amended Act 78 to allow for the collection of $1/per device/per month from all residents who own cellular devices capable of placing a 9-1-1 call.  This surcharge is collected by the wireless service providers and remitted to the State Treasury for administration by PEMA.  Countiy 911 providers must then submit applications for anticipatced costs and funds are distributed as needed and as available.