FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hostage situations, heart attacks, campus shooters, home invasions and suicidal motivations. These are just some of incidents that 9-1-1 telecommunicators have responded to, and are now being recognized for, as voting opens in the fifth annual Smart Telecommunicator Awards.
Smart911 today announced online voting is now open for the select group of finalists who have demonstrated leadership, performance, compassion for callers, ability to inspire co-workers and overall contributions to their Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). For the past several weeks, 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers (telecommunicators) in the United States have been nominated by their peers for the 2016 Smart Telecommunicator Awards, which recognizes the tireless and life-saving work they do everyday.
The public can now review the finalist submissions and vote online at www.smart911.com/sta through April 3, 2016. Smart911 will name a national winner and four regional honorees during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16). The national winner will receive $1,000 to be donated to the charity of their choosing, while the regional honorees will receive $500 to be given to the charity of their choice.
This year's nominees once again illustrate the crucial services that 9-1-1 telecommunicators provide, their dedication and the stressful situations they encounter, including such examples as:
- A telecommunicator in Washington, D.C. answered a 9-1-1 call from a frantic mother who reported her daughter was in labor, her water had broken and the child's birth was imminent. The telecommunicator immediately began advising the caller on how to assist with the delivery while dispatching emergency medical services. Before they arrived, the child was born. Still on the phone, the dispatcher guided the caller through all 10 post-childbirth instructions, including the tying of the umbilical cord. Her calm demeanor, quick, clear thinking and guidance to the caller were critical factors in the baby's and new-mother's arrival at the hospital in safe condition.
- In Michigan, a telecommunicator using Smart911, initiated contact via text message with an armed man who was currently evading police and whose intent was to engage officers to kill him in a firefight. Upon establishing a dialogue with the man, the call taker convinced him to call 9-1-1, and she spoke with him for an hour. Her calm attitude and crisis communications expertise were able to eventually persuade the man to surrender to authorities peacefully.
- A telecommunicator in Georgia received a call from a woman requesting to speak to her boyfriend. 9-1-1 call takers are accustomed to taking bizarre, non-emergency calls, but this telecommunicator's intuition sensed there was more to this one. He engaged the caller and learned she had been kidnapped, was currently being assaulted by a male and in tremendous danger. The call taker remained calm and began ascertaining her exact location, upon which he dispatched police. He maintained contact during the brutal call, and at one point, pretending to be the boyfriend, negotiated with the assailant to stop. Officers arrived in time to arrest the male and save the woman. The telecommunicator's incredible intuition, steady demeanor, determination and professionalism led to her safe return and capture of her kidnapper.
"Telecommunicators are the critical, first line of response in every emergency situation. Each year, we continue to be truly inspired by the stories of compassion, determination and dedication shown by them," said Tom Axbey, chief executive officer of Rave Mobile Safety, makers of Smart911. "Through the Smart Telecommunicator Awards, we are proud to honor and thank these unsung heroes who go above and beyond everyday, selflessly helping people they may never know. Peaceful and positive outcomes to emergency situations begin with America's 9-1-1 call takers."
The Smart Telecommunicator Awards were created and is sponsored by Rave Mobile Safety's Smart911, the acclaimed national public safety service, in order to highlight the critical public safety role telecommunicators play. It is conducted in partnership with the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) and the Denise Amber Lee Foundation.
Smart911 allows citizens to create a free Safety Profile online for their household that includes information they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have during an emergency. When a citizen makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile is automatically displayed to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send the right response teams to the right location with the right information. Fire crews can be aware of such things as how many people live at a home and the location of bedrooms. EMS can know about specific conditions for fast, precise medical treatment. And because profiles can contain photos, in the event of a missing child, police can gain an advantage, receiving critical information in seconds versus hours.
Smart911 is currently available in 40 states and more than 1,500 municipalities. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations and saving lives across the U.S., including a missing child case in Arkansas, a heart attack victim in Tennessee and a man trapped in a house fire in Michigan. As a national service, anytime a person with a Smart911 profile dials 9-1-1 in any location in the US that supports Smart911, their profile will appear to dispatchers allowing for more information to be available at the time of an emergency.
About Rave Mobile Safety
Rave Mobile Safety is the most trusted safety software partner, providing innovative communication software for better emergency preparedness and faster response. Used by leading education institutes, enterprises and state and local public safety agencies, the award-winning portfolio of Rave Alert, Rave Guardian, Eyewitness, Rave Panic Button, Smart911 and SmartPrepare protects millions of individuals. Rave Mobile Safety is headquartered in Framingham, Mass. For more information, please visit http://www.ravemobilesafety.com.
LEWIS Global Communications
Public Relations for Rave Mobile Safety
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