Message on NG911 Awareness Carried to International Gathering of 911 Professionals

Jim Lanier, ENP and fellow Foundation Board member joined me in presenting at the 2012 Navigator Conference in Baltimore, Maryland yesterday. Our topic, Exploring the Risks of Next Generation 911 emphasized the many potential benefits of NG911 for the public while urging the 911 industry to explore the potential psychological effects it could have on our 911 telecommunicators. Response to the presentation has been strong and we will continue while here in Baltimore to foster increased awareness of our 911 professionals about these concerns. The foundation’s position is that we support NG911 and hope to foster its success by protecting dispatcher well-being as they interface with it.

Thank you for taking time to read this short post. Your comments will be welcomed!

Jim M.

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2 Responses to Message on NG911 Awareness Carried to International Gathering of 911 Professionals

  1. Michael Armitage says:

    Here is a tragic story of a 911 dispatcher who took the call for her son’s fatal accident. Another example of why emotional support structures are critical for dispatchers:

    • 911wellness says:

      Yes, Michael. Even in the past two days at the Navigator’s Conference so many dispatchers and 911 leaders have told me of similar horrific experiences they or their people have gone through in the past few weeks. And we must prepare our frontliners to deal with all this. I hope our readers will put this in the bigger context. Such exposure to traumatic stress has been occurring repeatedly in the lives of 911 dispatchers for over 30 years and there has been NO STANDARD to assure they will receive the support they need. This is not due to collective dereliction in the industry–it is due to ignorance (not stupidity–lack of awareness) about trauma and how dispatchers are at risk, even when they are not “on scene” physically. Roberta Troxell’s 2008 study supports this claim. Now consider that Next Generation 911 will up the ante on stress exponentially. That is why we at the Foundation are moving deliberately yet also expeditiously. Even while here at the Navigator (one of the premiere 911 conferences in the industry) the response to this message has been extraordinary and that is so encouraging. 911 Directors, frontliners, even vendors of the technology that will run real time video and texting in the NG911 call center are joining in the “Oh, my…now I get it!” response. Thank you for joining with us Michael to achieve the Foundation’s mission. We are picking up steam.

      I hope our readers will become fellow supporters of this work. If you are willing to explore how you or your organization can help, please email me: Thank you!

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