Today Co-producer Richard Thacker (Eaton County Central Dispatch, MI and fellow board member–911 Wellness Foundation) and I enjoyed the privilege of introducing Michigan’s 911 professionals to 911ProTV at the 2012 Michigan NENA Conference in Lansing. 911ProTV is the only online “TV Network devoted to educating, entertaining, and inspiring North America’s emergency telecommunicators.” (Note: if you visit the site, please be patient: we’ve only just begun and will be greatly improving and enriching the site after this conference!)
The network creates what we call an Online Living Room where the 911 family can join together to enjoy watching brief video messages created by their peers and subject matter experts on a variety of topics promoting health and peak performance. The public and all 911 stakeholders tuning into 911 ProTV can gain a rare opportunity to enter inside the dispatcher’s otherwise-invisible world to learn directly from them what it is like to live their extraordinary daily lives responding to our emergencies.
The response to 911ProTV was overwhelmingly positive today as 911 frontline dispatchers, supervisors, directors, and state and international NENA leaders (including current NENA President Rick Galway and state NENA President April Heinze) took their turns in our director’s chairs, cameras rolling… Yet as I’m sure these leaders would affirm, one 911 director who declined a video interview emphasized: “the most important people to sit here, for us all to listen to, are the dispatchers who sit the consoles in our centers everyday. All the rest of us are here only to support them. They, and the public we serve, are what it’s all about..” (To hear more from this director, visit 911ProTV and look for “An Interview with the Invisible 911 Leader. These videos will be posted soon.)
911ProTV is a non-profit project of the 911 Wellness Foundation and today these professionals affirmed how valuable this unique venue will become to tell their own stories, speak to key work issues affecting their careers, and their personal lives–particularly the incredible stress 911 telecommunicators face every day at the console. So if you’re a 911 professional, we hope you will sit back with a glass of ice tea and your laptop, and log on to 911ProTV.com. And then pick up your smart phone (or other) video cam and help build it for all to enjoy. Share a bit of your mind and your heart with your 911 colleagues. Feel free to “ad-lib” or choose from any of the following questions to “prime the pump”:
- What is your funniest 911 moment?
- What is your most inspiring experience as a 911 Pro?
- What do you wish the public understood about 911?
- What support do you most need from leaders to excel at your 911 work?
- What encouragement would you offer to your 911 peers who may be struggling with the job?
Feel free to share on any topic you think will support the cause, and remember– funny is also really a good thing! (Just also remember, if your video is selected, many may be watching, so use your best judgment!) Together we will build 911ProTV as a resource that helps 911 Wellness Foundation achieve its mission to foster the health of our 911 dispatchers, and the success of our 911 centers in the Next Generation PSAP.
And to all the rest of you–the public and all 911 stakeholders, here’s your chance to thank, encourage or inspire our First first responders–those who may answer your next emergency call! We welcome your brief videos too. Just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you’re camera-shy but wish to support 911ProTV, you can still help. Just log on, enjoy, and leave your comments–and please post your response to this blog entry, too!
Thanks to all who have so quickly embraced 911ProTV. Peace and health to you!
Jim Marshall, Chairman–911 Wellness Foundation, Co-producer (911ProTV)