1.                 What is TERT?  

TERT is an emergency response resource for 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Texas.  We are the only resource that can locate Telecommunicators, essential emergency service personnel for a PSAP, that are capable of working with your equipment and protocols when you need them the most – during a disaster!  

2.                 What assistance can TERT provide to my PSAP?  

During a disaster, call volume and an inability of PSAP personnel to report to work due to the disaster can overwhelm a PSAP.  TERT will locate Telecommunicators that are trained on your equipment and protocols and deploy them to your site to augment your staff until the situation stabilizes.  

3.                 How does it work?  

a.                 A manmade or natural disaster occurs

b.                 Local officials make a “declaration of disaster”

c.                 A request is made to the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TX-DEM) for Telecommunicators

d.                 TX-DEM notifies NENA-TX contact person

e.                 NENA-TX contact person then calls the effected agency to get updated operational information

f.                  TERT database will be checked to find agencies with matching equipment

g.                 Assisting PSAPs are then contacted by the NENA-TX representative alerting them to the formal request for response that has been made by the PSAP needing assistance

h.                 TX-DEM is then notified of which agencies are responding and approximate ETA of Telecommunicators to the requesting PSAP.  

4.                 If a NENA-TX representative contacts my PSAP for assistance, will it affect my agency if we have to decline the request?  

No.  PSAPs may decline to assist if such a response would deplete staffing within their center (due to staffing shortages) or otherwise negatively impact the PSAP’s ability to perform their normal functions. NENA-TX understands that the operations of your PSAP must come first before you can assist others.

5.                 If I did not state on the survey that I would provide assistance, will I still get assistance if needed in a disaster?  

Yes.  Any Texas PSAP that requests assistance will be responded to regardless of your answer on the survey.  

6.                 Does TERT manage my personnel while deployed?  

No.  TERT does not manage personnel.  TERT manages the database of PSAP operational capabilities to assist TX-DEM in locating other Texas PSAPs that would be best suited to assist a PSAP during a disaster.  Once your personnel have arrived at the effected PSAP, they will be under the operational command of that PSAP until such time that the situation stabilizes and we are notified to “stand down”.  However, TERT will notify you if there is a problem with one of your employees and if a replacement is needed.  You will be given contact information to follow up on the problem with the effected agency at a later time.  

7.                 Does TERT pay my personnel while deployed?  

No.  TERT does not employ any personnel.  As a responder to a request from TX-DEM, the responding personnel are acting in a mutual aid capacity similar to how fire and police personnel respond to other jurisdictions during a major incident.  Telecommunicators are essential emergency service personnel as well and can act in a mutual aid capacity if requested to do is during a disaster.   

8.                 How do I get reimbursed for expenses incurred, i.e. personnel salaries, when my personnel are deployed to another PSAP?  

As a state requested mutual aid responder during a disaster, your agency would be entitled to disaster fund reimbursement.  You would need to file for reimbursement via the appropriate agency that is handling reimbursement, usually FEMA.  However, you should be aware that if you respond to an adjacent community (i.e. neighboring county in which you share a common border) and there is not a history of reimbursement for mutual aid response, you may not be reimbursed.  This is due to new FEMA guidelines governing reimbursements.  

9.                 What amount of time will my personnel be expected to be at another PSAP?  

This answer varies depending on the disaster.  However, the minimum time you should expect is 12-24 hours.  The NENA-TX representative that contacted you for assistance will be responsible for checking with the effected PSAP to determine how long personnel will be needed and to locate additional personnel if needed.   

10.            I completed a survey.  Will my information be shared with anyone?  

No.  Your data will only be TERT Committee members and will only be used to assess if your PSAP meets the needs of another PSAP during a disaster.  Your information will never be published for any other purpose.  

11.            How do I update my PSAP information when something changes?  

Complete the PSAP survey form on the TERT webpage located at www.nena9-1-1.org/texas/tert and a TERT committee member will receive your information and update your agency in the TERT database.