The Washington State Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) began a new year with the election of officers at the May 1, 1997 chapter meeting, which was held at Kiyoji=s restaurant in Moses Lake, WA. Officers elected were; Michael H. Grossie, President; Eastern Vice President Rose Parr; Ken Back, Treasurer. Continuing in their posts for another term were; Western Vice President, Gene Strong; and Secretary, Larry Scott.
Executive Council Activities:
The Executive Council worked on many different issues in the past year, and continued with other programs set in place by previous Executive Councils. Two major accomplishments were obtain this year.
The first was the award of a Lifetime NENA Membership to one of our charter members, Mr. Noel Myhre. This was the first Lifetime Membership given to any NENA member, other than the NENA National Presidents. The Washington Chapter was honored by having two Lifetime Members, Noel, and Thera Bradshaw. This put the Washington Chapter tied for third in the number of Lifetime Memberships in a chapter.
The second noteworthy item, is the Executive Council put forth the first ever Chapter spending plan. It was decided not to call it a budget, but a spending plan, as it outlines where the chapter intended to expend funds in the 1997-1998 year.
We have also revived the Washington State Chapter NENA pin. These are available from Ken Back for a modest sum of $3.00 each. The proceeds go to the Chapter. These pins are good trading material at conferences, etc.
This year the NENA Legislative Subcommittee was chaired by the NENA representative to the State 9-1-1 Advisory Board, and the Chairman of that group, Mr. Jim Quackenbush. This gave NENA a very powerful influence in the legislation, as Mr. Quackenbush worked very closely with the Washington Association Of Counties (WACO), the Washington State Military Department and the Department of Revenue to get SHB 1126 passed this legislative session. This prime piece of legislation maintains the $0.20 excise tax on Wireline phones in Washington, and provides salary funding for counties with a population of less than 75,000. Though the wireless section was taken out of the bill, wording was changed sufficiently that the addition of wireless phones later should be accomplished much easier.
This vital Subcommittee started the 1997-1998 year under the leadership of Jane Bissonnette, formerly of XYPOINT. Lynn Mell, also of XYPOINT was appointed as the Chair when Jane=s work load would no longer allow her constant participation. Under Lynn=s leadership we have not only gained more commercial members, but we have been kept informed of technology issues which are coming at our industry at an alarming rate. Several Technology Bulletins were written on various issues and provided to the membership. There were not many technical issues that this Subcommittee did not review.
The 9-1-1 Education Subcommittee is chaired by Jackie Melvin. Jackie worked very hard on the 9-1-1 Education Program of the Year for 1996, which was presented at the May 1, 1997 Chapter Meeting with a special luncheon. Jackie has continued along the course set by her predecessor and improved the quality of all 9-1-1 Education Programs in the State. This year we again are having a special luncheon at our May 7, 1998 meeting in Goldendale, WA where we will recognize the 1997 9-1-1 Education Program winner, the Community Service Center For The Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This year, not only will the winner receive a plaque, they will also receive a traveling plaque which will move from winner to winner. Again this year, the luncheon is being sponsored by Proctor & Associates.
Telecommunicators Week – 1999:
A special Subcommittee, made up of the Chairs of the, 9-1-1 Education, Technology and Legislative, was established to work on a presentation at the State Capital during Telecommunicators Week in April of 1999. This is intended to celebrate all counties in Washington State having Enhanced 9-1-1.
Our monthly education programs have faltered somewhat in 1997-1998. In December of 1997 we had a presentation by Mr. Rod Proctor of Proctor and Associates on testifying before the legislature. This month we will be having a presentation by Ms. Sue Pivetta on her recent trip to Argentina to assist in setting up a 9-1-1 system there.
Our membership is now a total of 125 according to the February 1998 count. This is up by 15 members from last year. However, we also know that from October 1, 1997 through March 31, 1998 we had 96 paying members. This breaks down to 54 Active members, 2 Lifetime members, and 40 commercial members. We need to get out and make sure the members stay involved and pay for their memberships. This is the only way the chapter gets funding.
I want to thank Allen Jakobitz for maintaining the Washington Chapter NENA Web Page. This does take a large amount of time. I also want to thank him for prodding the Chapter to get involved in causes that need to be examined and acted on.
This Chapter has made great strides this year. I hope that the next Executives will maintain and increase the momentum. The task of President is no easy job, but with a good Executive Council things are a lot easier.
The Washington Chapter should also be aware of the six Emergency Number Professionals (ENP) that are members. These include; Lori Ericson, Naomi Wu, Dan Aycock, Lorlee Mizell, Doug Gehrke, and Michael H. Grossie. This is a very important program. It is one of a few professional certification programs in our industry.
On a sadder note, we need to remember Mr. Noel Myhre who passed away on April 20, 1998. Noel had increasing health problems over the last years. He was a charter member of NENA and did much for it in the State of Washington. Noel was very pleased and honored to receive his lifetime Membership which was given to him by Bob Oenning and a few others. This Chapter needs to remember his dedication and model our efforts in NENA after his. The Washington Chapter of NENA made a donation of $50.00 to Whatcom County Medic 1 in his name.
Michael H. Grossie, ENP
1997-1998 Chapter President