NENA, APCO Chapter Representatives and 9-1-1 Leaders Urged to Attend Special Meeting on October 25

th in Greensboro, NC, to Learn from the Lessons of Hurricane Katrina and Develop a National Strategy.

The meeting will be held the day prior to the NENA Critical Issues Forum: GIS—Its importance to 9-1-1 and Homeland Security.

ARLINGTON, VA. (September 22, 2005) One of the most important issues to emerge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is the need for states to be ready to systematically deploy trained, recognized teams of telecommunicators whenever a local PSAP infrastructure is compromised by a natural disaster or terrorist event. NENA is spearheading a national effort to address this need.

In addition to several other states, North Carolina is a recognized leader in this area with its TERT program (Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce). After Katrina struck, the N.C. TERT received a formal request through the state Office of Emergency Management within the national Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to deploy and assist with PSAP staffing in St. Tammany’s Parish in Louisiana. (Through EMAC, a congressionally ratified organization that provides form and structure to interstate mutual aid, a disaster-impacted state can request and receive assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently, resolving two key issues upfront: liability and reimbursement.) Other states also provided remarkable examples of assistance with TERT-like teams, often on an ad hoc basis.

“There has been an outpouring of interest from throughout North America and the world for information about how to establish telecommunicator emergency response teams such as TERT, to share best practices from the lessons of Katrina, and to understand the important role of EMAC in the process,” said David F. Jones, ENP, President of NENA. “To quickly respond to this need, and to take advantage of North Carolina’s expertise and leadership in this area, we are bringing together 9-1-1 leaders in Greensboro for this special meeting.”

Attendees will receive detailed “how to” information and resources to enable them to create their own teams. Another important goal for the day-long meeting will be to develop consensus from national and regional leaders for standards, priorities and task force responsibilities. Jason Barbour, ENP, NENA Second Vice President, and co-founder of North Carolina’s TERT, will head the task force.

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GIS: Its Importance to 9-1-1 and Homeland Security, a NENA Critical Issues Forum, will be held October 26-27 in Greensboro, North Carolina at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons. The special meeting on Telecommunicator Emergency Response Teams will be October 25 at the same location. It is free to all, but advance registration is required. To register for either meeting, to get an updated agenda for the day, or to receive hotel and travel information, call 1-800-332-3911.