The Call - Winter 2016 - 12

branch hurts, we all hurt. When one
community faces great tragedy, we all
ache and desire to jump in and help.
We understand the feelings of defeat
and being overwhelmed that those
working so hard to mitigate this tragedy
in Gatlinburg likely felt. Tennessee is not
called the Volunteer State by chance,
hundreds of responders showed up to
help this community. Fire and police
agencies from all over Tennessee were
on site and working within hours of the
fires spreading. These men and women

stayed for days working alongside
Gatlinburg area fire and police officials.
Another lesson from this tragedy
is that the same type of help needed
by the emergency service agencies
was most likely needed in the same
timeframe by the 9‑1‑1 center staff and
communications officials. Tennessee
does have an active Telecommunicator
Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT),
and it was deployed to Gatlinburg.
The request was made and filled on

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November 30, which was two days after
the tragedy hit. This timeframe could be
viewed as room for improvement. Early
reports to the Tennessee Emergency
Management Agency indicated that
9‑1‑1 could not be reached due to high
call volume. It was also reported that one
Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)
needed help after it was overwhelmed
with high calls. Our communications
professionals needed help just the same
as our brothers and sisters in police and
fire services. As a profession, we have to
do a better job ensuring that the needs
of our communications professionals are
being considered along the front lines
just as other responder agencies. 9‑1‑1
communications professionals are the
first, first responder.
If your state has a TERT program, how
is it requested and deployed? Are all
of the PSAPs in your state educated on
the benefits of TERT, and do they know
when and how to request them? This
event should be a reminder to ask these
questions and ensure they are being
answered. If your state does not have a
TERT program, perhaps now is a great
time to look at starting one. When having
your own TERT program does not seem
feasible, you should look to existing
teams around you and seek information
on how to use them as mutual aid.
Another suggestion would be to develop
a local TERT team with your neighboring
agencies. This would allow you to train
and respond to each other's needs in a
timely manner.
This tragedy is one of the most
devastating disasters to impact the East
Tennessee area. The loss of property and
life will never fully be restored for those
who experienced it. The responders that
faced this giant will never forget it. The
best we can do to honor those affected is
to learn from this event to better prepare
ourselves for the future.  ●
Jennifer Estes, ENP, RPL, EMT-P, MBA, is the
Director at Loudon County (TN) E-911.

www
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References

© 2015 EnerSys. All rights reserved.
Trademarks and logos are the property of EnerSys and its affiliates unless otherwise noted.
Subject to revisions without prior notice. E.&O.E.

1 https:www.nps.gov/chimneytopstrail
2 https:www.wbir.com/articleMayor:Wildfires
caused more than $500 million in damages

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Winter 2016

President’s Message
From the CEO
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
Government Affairs
10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
Tech Trends
NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
Operations
Educational and Operational Issues
Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover1
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover2
The Call - Winter 2016 - 3
The Call - Winter 2016 - 4
The Call - Winter 2016 - 5
The Call - Winter 2016 - 6
The Call - Winter 2016 - 7
The Call - Winter 2016 - President’s Message
The Call - Winter 2016 - From the CEO
The Call - Winter 2016 - Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
The Call - Winter 2016 - 11
The Call - Winter 2016 - 12
The Call - Winter 2016 - Government Affairs
The Call - Winter 2016 - 10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
The Call - Winter 2016 - 15
The Call - Winter 2016 - 16
The Call - Winter 2016 - 17
The Call - Winter 2016 - 18
The Call - Winter 2016 - Tech Trends
The Call - Winter 2016 - NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
The Call - Winter 2016 - 21
The Call - Winter 2016 - 22
The Call - Winter 2016 - Operations
The Call - Winter 2016 - Educational and Operational Issues
The Call - Winter 2016 - 25
The Call - Winter 2016 - Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
The Call - Winter 2016 - 27
The Call - Winter 2016 - 28
The Call - Winter 2016 - 29
The Call - Winter 2016 - 30
The Call - Winter 2016 - 31
The Call - Winter 2016 - 32
The Call - Winter 2016 - 33
The Call - Winter 2016 - Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover3
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0218
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https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NENQ/NENQ0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/NENQ0311
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com