CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, millions of people dial three lifesaving digits in moments of crisis: 9-1-1. On any given day, in any local community, the 9-1-1 center can be flooded with calls requiring extraordinary attention and composure.
At this week's NENA 2013 Conference & Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) recognized a number of 9-1-1 professionals who were forced to grapple with unprecedented, tragic events in their communities in the past year.
"In an elementary school in Newtown, on the stormy streets of New York and New Jersey and the terrorized streets of Boston, in a small town in Texas -- people in the most dire situations reached out for help by calling 9-1-1," said NENA Executive Board President Barbara Jaeger, speaking to a crowd of nearly 2,000 9-1-1 professionals, government leaders, and telecommunications specialists gathered from around the country and beyond. "In every one of those critical, anxious moments, the calm and professional voice of a 9-1-1 dispatcher made all the difference."
Among the individuals recognized on behalf of their agencies by NENA for their service were:
- Chris Carver representing the Fire Dispatch Operations of New York – who worked tirelessly through the havoc caused by Super Storm Sandy;
- Director Maureen Will and Dispatcher Bob Nute representing the Newtown, Connecticut Police Communications Center – who handled calls from frantic parents and community members during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting;
- Dispatchers Phillip D'Agostino and Brock Kennedy representing the Watertown, Massachusetts Police and Fire Communications Center, where they manned phones, tracked a hijacked car's movements, and coordinated with police units to set the stage for the killing and capture of the Boston bombing terrorists; and
- Dispatchers Shannon Barrington and Robyn Raschuig representing the Waco, Texas Police Department – who coordinated first responders by using CAD maps to direct units to the scene of a massive industrial explosion.
"Some days put us in situations we could never envision, and we are forced to trust our training, come together, and rise to the occasion to keep the public safe and let them know that someone is out there, ready to help," Jaeger said in recognizing these outstanding 9-1-1 agencies.
NENA also honored one of the organization's past presidents, John Ellison, with the prestigious William E. Stanton Award for Ellison's continued devotion to and advocacy of public safety and 9-1-1.
About NENA: The 9-1-1 Association
The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) serves its members and the greater public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. The association works with public policy leaders; emergency services and telecommunications industry partners; like-minded public safety associations; and other stakeholder groups to develop and carry out critical programs and initiatives to improve 9-1-1; to facilitate the creation of an IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 system; and to establish industry leading standards, training, and certifications. Find out more at www.nena.org.
Photos of award winners are available upon request.
SOURCE National Emergency Number Association (NENA)