9-1-1 is a bedrock of American civil society. Without the support of state and local authorities, coupled with the tireless and at times daunting service of 9-1-1 operators, many men and women would not be alive today. In a world that is apt to take any service for granted and to marginalize the importance of emergency first response, the wakeup call is usually dialing 9-1-1. At such times brave men and women step forward and make a difference.
Each year a broad spectrum of associations supporting the critical role of 9-1-1 service assemble in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station to honor the very best in first response heroism. For the 10th year in a row The NG9-1-1 Institute, in conjunction with National Emergency Number Association (NENA), the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), the National Association of Emergency Dispatchers (NAED), 9-1-1 for Kids and the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, gathered together last year to present six awards to citizen heroes.
These awards reflect the excellence, the heroism, and dedication of citizens in helping others in life-threatening situations, or whose contributions to education about the critical importance of 9-1-1 emergency communications have elevated public awareness.
The co-chairs of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus were invited to present the awards.
The Citizen in Action Award recognizes a person who demonstrated exceptional bravery and heroism to save a life at a critical time using 9-1-1. The 2013 award was given to Stephanie Hines of Bedford, Texas.
The Education Award is given in appreciation of the recipient’s efforts to coordinate and promote education and awareness for 9-1-1 education. The award was given to: Patti Cross of the Denton County 911 District; and Patti West and Robin Ericson of the Longmont Department of Public Safety.
The 9-1-1 Professional Award honors the true “first responders” on the front lines of emergency communications every day. It was given to Kara D. Nichols of the Washington State Patrol in Bremerton, Washington.
The Government Leader Award recognizes the efforts of federal, state, and local officials in developing and implementing public policy to advance the capabilities of 9-1-1 emergency communications. This award was presented to Marlys Davis of the King County E9-1-1 Program Office.
The Industry/Technology Professional Private Sector Award honors individuals in the commercial sector who make exceptional contributions towards the advancement of emergency 9-1-1 communications. The award was given to Mark Fletcher of Ringwood New Jersey; and Paul Yarbrough of Arlington, Texas.
The Outstanding 9-1-1 Call Center Award honors a specific Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for its excellence in key emergency communications areas ranging from the handling of emergency situations reported to 9-1-1 to the deployment and management of new technology. This year’s award goes to the Aurora Public Safety Communications Department of Aurora, Colorado and to Newtown Emergency Communications in Newtown, Connecticut.
“This year’s honorees highlight the truly invaluable and life-saving work that the 9-1-1 system and its professionals do around the nation,” said Angel Arocho, Chairman of NG9-1-1 Board of Directors. “On behalf of the NG 9-1-1 Board, we are grateful for their service and are delighted to host this event to honor these extraordinary individuals, and to recognize industry members that play a critical role in helping to operate and advance it.”
KOVA joins with the NG9-1-1 Board of Directors in extending its sincere gratitude and appreciation for the self-sacrifice, compassion, integrity, and diligence that these award winners have displayed in helping make our country a safer and better nation.