Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thank you, Mr Whittington of NENA for your support

God bless you and other 9-1-1 industry leaders and employees who are continually trying to improve their call centers. If we can help you, please, we welcome all opportunities to do what we can.

President Whittington Sets '09-'10 Objectives

Posted: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 08:18

As I begin my term as NENA President and look towards the next twelve months, I offer you four goals for our association. It is up to all of us, every member of the NENA family, to do our part in making them a reality.

•First, we must maintain NENA’s role as a 9-1-1 and public safety leader;
•Second, we must commit to growing our association;
•Third, we should raise the standards by which 9-1-1 professionals are measured by getting behind the Emergency Number Professional program;
•And, finally, we must advocate for mandatory state and national training standards for all who serve in our nation’s 6,000 plus PSAPs.

First, we must maintain NENA's role as a 9-1-1 and public safety leader.
NENA has become the premier public safety association in North America because of our active and involved membership. For me, volunteering for chapter and national committees and attending events and conferences has always filled me with a sense of purpose and prepared me to better serve the public we are sworn to protect. With that in mind, I encourage you to expand your involvement in NENA and to be a leading voice in your center and in your community. Share your experiences and knowledge with those around you. You can be the one who re-energizes your office. You can be the one who pushes for real change in the 9-1-1 system. You can be the one who becomes a leader in moving us towards a Next Generation 9-1-1(?) system. Remember, your participation is instrumental to moving NENA and public safety forward.
Second, we must commit to growing our association.
Every emergency communications professional would benefit from joining NENA. Reach out to those who have not yet made the commitment to be part of our family – one that will embrace and utilize their unique talents and viewpoints. Tell others about the benefits of NENA membership: the support system, the operations and technical standards and best practices, the educational opportunities, the unparalleled informational resources and body of knowledge. Let them know that everyone benefits when we come together to speak with a unified voice. Help them to understand the real difference they can make for 9-1-1 every day by joining our mission.
Third, we should raise the standards by which 9-1-1 professionals are measured by getting behind the Emergency Number Professional program.
The ENP designation is, without a doubt, the premier certification in our industry. Nearly two-hundred thousand people in North America and hundreds of thousands around the world serve in public safety communications. However, currently only eight hundred of these individuals are ENP certified. We need to do better. I call on each of us to make ENP certification a priority in 2009. If you are an ENP, take it upon yourself to mentor someone and help them achieve this milestone. If you are not already an ENP, I strongly urge you to begin the course of study so that you can take the test in the fall. And even if you are not yet eligible to sit for the exam, be proactive. Start participating and accumulating points so that you can become an ENP in 2011 or 2012. It is not beyond your reach!

And, finally, we must advocate for mandatory state and national training standards for all who serve in our nation’s 6,000 plus PSAPs.
Almost every state requires certification of police officers, firefighters, paramedics, barbers, and even tanning bed operators. However, sadly, many states do NOT have requirements regarding the training and certification of emergency communications personnel. It is our responsibility to ensure that any call to 9-1-1 is received with the same level of professionalism and expertise no matter where it originates. I am very proud to say that NENA stands beside organizations such as the Denise Amber Lee Foundation in advocating coast-to-coast certification, and I ask you and your organization to lend your support. Never should anyone dial 9-1-1 for assistance and not get the very best trained public safety professional to answer their call. 9-1-1 personnel are our nation’s first first responders and their training must be viewed as an investment, not an expense. Lives depend on it

These are big goals, but I truly believe that we, the members of the NENA family, have what it takes to accomplish all of them. Like you, I am dedicated to NENA’s success and to improving public safety. If what I propose sounds difficult, let me share this quote from old police Lieutenant of mine. He was a man who loved to be tough on us, not to be mean, but because he knew it would make us rise to the occasion. He said, “There is nothing you can’t do. There are just things you haven’t done yet.” Throughout my career and my service to NENA I have always tried to keep these words and their meaning in my heart.

I thank you for this opportunity to serve NENA, and I look forward to working with you this year. Let’s begin this journey together, so that next year we can look back and say that there truly was nothing we couldn’t do.

Craig Whittington, ENP