Wednesday, January 28, 2009

911: Setting the standard in Lee County and beyond! Beginning the trend of 9-1-1 standards.

OMgosh! I'm so excited!!!!

Things are starting to happen!

I'm so overwhelmed with tears right now. Gosh, I just want to hug Lee County officials and all the other 9-1-1 training centers who attended!!!!! Oh, God bless you for stepping up!

I don't know how to embed the video but here's a link from WinkNews!! But reading the article is much better. There's more to the article than to the video, IMO.


911: Setting the standard in Lee County and beyond
By WINK News
Story Created: Jan 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM EST
Story Updated: Jan 27, 2009 at 7:16 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A group of 911 trainers from counties across Florida met for the first time in Lee County Tuesday to work toward mandatory training and certification for dispatchers statewide. They're starting with their own agencies.

Police officers and fire fighters are certified, so they ask...why not them?"

We're the ones that are taking the calls from the hostage takers, from the suicidal individuals, we're taking calls from shooting victims...whatever tragedy is going on that time, that is the life of a 911 operator," said Chris Hodges, 911 Training Coordinator for the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

The Denise Amber Lee Act, which passed last year, set the standard for state-wide certification. Right now though, the standard is only voluntary. The Act is named for a murdered North Port mother.

An investigation revealed information that could have possibly lead deputies to Lee, was never passed on by dispatchers in Charlotte County.

A stronger version of the Denise Amber Lee Act would make the certification standards mandatory. It's expected to be considered by Florida lawmakers during the upcoming Legislative Session.

But, Hodges says Lee County is already one step ahead.

"We're looking at it as mandatory. Everybody in our communications center will be state certified, voluntary or not. Everybody will go through certification," she explained. She says the goal is to have all dispatchers who qualify to be certified by the end of the year."

Everybody needs to go back to their training programs, look at their standards, make sure we're up to standard and also open the channel of communication and resource sharing between the agencies," Hodges went on to say.

The trainers represented agencies from as far north as Ocala down to the Keys.

Natalie Duran, with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department says she looks forward to the day when someone can call 911 from any county in Florida and expect the person on the other line to have the same level of standardized training."

It's wonderful to think every time I cross over from one county to the other, the dispatcher that picks up the phone that everyone of them understands the information I need, they will ask me the same type of questions and they will provide me with the same type of service," said Duran.