WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The U.S. federal government announced it is making $40 million in grants available to help states and territories improve their 9-1-1 call centers.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The grants were authorized by the "Ensuring Help Arrives Near Callers Employing 9-1-1 Act" (ENHANCE 911 Act).

All states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories are eligible for the grants. Among other things, the funds will be used to implement technologies to deliver wireless 9-1-1 calls with automatic location information.

The funds will be awarded in fiscal year 2009. Interested parties will have 60 days to submit applications.