Who We Are – Commission on State Emergency Communications

about-csecThe Commission on State Emergency Communications(CSEC) is the state’s authority on emergency communications, and is the state agency statutorily charged with administering the implementation of statewide 9-1-1 service and the poison control network, including regional poison control centers. The CSEC was created in 1987 by the 70th Texas Legislature through the enactment of Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 771. In 1993, the 73rd Texas Legislature created the state Poison Control Program and provided for the joint administration of the program by the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services. In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature shifted administration of the program to CSEC. The enabling statute for the Poison program is codified in Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 777.

The mission of the CSEC is to preserve and enhance public safety and health in Texas through reliable access to emergency communications services. In accomplishing its mission, the agency collaborates with regional and local governments and other state agencies to promote stewardship and accountability, set high standards, and foster efficient emergency communications services.

The Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN) provides information to citizens who suspect they have been exposed to toxic substances, or may have had adverse reactions to food, plants, or insect stings. The TPCN is accessible by calling the toll-free number: 1-800-222-1222.

The network is composed of six geographically diverse poison centers residing in host hospitals, linked by a sophisticated telecommunications network. Individuals speak directly with a health care professional trained in various aspects of toxicology and poison control and preventions. The aim is to provide sufficient information to treat a poison incident at home, precluding the dispatch of emergency medical services or visit to a health care facility.

Texas Regional Poison Centers

  • Texas Panhandle Poison Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo
  • North Texas Poison Center  Dallas County Hospital District, Dallas
  • West Texas Regional Poison Center, University Medical Center at El Paso County Hospital District, El Paso
  • Southeast Texas Poison Center, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • South Texas Poison Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Central Texas Poison Center, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Temple

The Poison Control Coordinating Committee (PCCC) is provided in Health and Safety Code, Chapter 777, and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the regional poison control centers, and advising the CSEC.

Poison Control Coordinating Committee Membership

  • One Public Member
  • Six members representing the six regional poison control centers
  • One member from the Department of State Health Services
  • Poison Control Program Coordinator from the CSEC

Funding of emergency communication services in Texas is authorized by Health and Safety Code (H&SC) Chapters 771 and 772. Funding for the TPCN is provided through the Equalization Surcharge Fee imposed upon each customer receiving intrastate long-distance service in the amount of 1.0% of the charges for intrastate long-distance service. All collections of the Equalization Surcharge and the Wireless 9-1-1 Service Fee are remitted on a monthly basis to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (the Comptroller). The fees remain in the state treasury until appropriated to the CSEC for the operations of the regional poison control centers and for the poison control telecommunications network.

For more information regarding the CSEC, please visit the agency’s website, www.csec.texas.gov. For more information on the Texas Poison Control Program, please contact Norma Valle, CSEC Poison Control Program Director at norma.marrero@csec.texas.gov.