Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Denise Amber Lee Foundation in Fort Worth

So far so good. It's been a little difficult because emotions, IMO, are running high. We had the 5K run on Saturday. Mark, Nathan and Amber were all up extremely early on Saturday. And then, of course, we were all up very early Sunday. People, especially moi, get cranky when they are tired. Amber has been a trooper throughout putting up with all the various emotional meltdowns. David Garofalo has the battle of not only dealing with our emotional meltdowns but has the important job of networking. I don't know what we would do without either of them. Dave have his family here too. How wonderful is that? I was hoping to spend more time with his wife and son. I don't really know them as well as I'd like. I want to tell her how wonderful Dave has been to us. He's an important cog in the wheel for so many reasons.

Thank you David and Amber. We miss you, Dave Dignam.

Working the booth can be difficult. Constantly having to repeat the story to educate the people who are not familiar with our story and cause can be emotionally draining but well worth it in the end. Once they understand what we're all about and that we just want to drive change for improvements you can almost see relief on their faces. Most are truly appalled at what happened in the comm center that night. But it seems all understand how it may have happened. If the industry can learn from the mistakes made in Denise's case then...... again, telling our story is worth it. Many are now going to take Denise's story back to their dispatch centers and they are going to ask their dispatchers and call takers "how would you have handled this", "what went wrong", "where did the procedures start to break down" and "what can we do better"?

That's very very cool to us.

All the national industry experts are meeting with our foundation this morning. Many important 9-1-1 experts will be in the meeting. People from NENA (National Emergency Number Association), NAED (National Academies of Emergency Dispatch), 9-1-1 CARES, The E911 Institute and APCO (The Association of Public Safety). There are probably others who I am forgetting.

We'll see what happens. NENA, NAED and 9-1-1 CARES have been especially supportive and continue to encourage us. I feel their genuine support and concern. The others? Eh, I'm not so sure but we'll see.

I couldn't imagine why they wouldn't support our cause. Afterall, it's about public safety not politics.

We have a new mission statement:

"To promote and support public safety through uniform training, standardized protocols, defined measurable outcomes and technological advances in the 9-1-1 system."

We'll see. I won't be in the meeting. I think I was voted out because I talk too much! LOL! That's probably true and I do tend to be emotional.

Tomorrow we meet Michael Cantrell and hopefully the rest of his family. I'm especially looking forward to that. Why? It'll just be so nice to meet someone that REALLY TRULY understands our resolve, drive and determination. Bittersweet. Bitter because if it wasn't for the loss of their little boy and our loss of Denise, we would never even have known each other. sigh. I only hope we can all garner strength from each other.

Nathan's speech is tomorrow.

OH! And Nathan received an award from 911 CARES for all the work he's been doing!! That was pretty darn cool.

Better go. Lots to do. Another busy day. Who knows what it will bring!