(a) Upon the adoption by the public service commission of a comprehensive plan, the public agency may establish, consistent with the comprehensive plan, an emergency telephone system within its jurisdiction. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit or discourage in any way the establishment of multi-jurisdiction or regional systems, and any emergency telephone system established pursuant to this article may include the territory of more than one public agency, or may include only a portion of the territory of a public agency. To the extent feasible, emergency telephone systems shall be centralized.
(b) Every emergency telephone system shall provide access to emergency services organizations, police, fire fighting and emergency medical and ambulance services and may provide access to other emergency services. The system may also provide access to private ambulance services. The emergency telephone system shall provide the necessary mechanical equipment at the established public agency answering point to allow deaf persons access to the system. In those areas in which a public safety unit of the state provides emergency services, the system shall provide access to the public safety unit.
(c) The primary emergency telephone number to the extent possible shall be uniform throughout the state.
(d) Insofar as it is consistent with applicable federal law and federal communications commission regulations and orders, atelephone company in the normal course of replacing or making major modifications to its switching equipment shall include the capability of providing for the emergency telephone system and shall bear all costs related to including that capability. All charges for other services and facilities provided by the telephone company, including the provision of distribution facilities and station equipment, shall be paid for by the public agency or public safety unit in accordance with the applicable tariff rates then in effect for those services and facilities. Other costs pursuant to the emergency telephone system shall be allocated as determined by the applicable comprehensive plan of the public service commission.
(e) All coin-operated telephones within the state shall be of a design that will permit a caller to initiate, without first having to insert a coin (dial tone first or post-pay systems), local calls to the long distance and directory assistance operators, calls to the emergency telephone number answering point, if one has been established in his or her local calling area, and to other numbers for services as the telephone company may from time to time make available to the public.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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