The following is a reposting from Kevin Willett who is the Founder of 911 CARES. This organization tries to provide support to 9-1-1 professionals after a tragedy, and is taking a huge part for the event that is playing out in Newtown, Connecticut. You can find out what YOU can do to support this effort by visiting them on the web at www.911cares.com
I am always struck with the spirit of America in the aftermath of trauma. I wanted to share a story from Friday. I had stopped by our offices at PSTC-911CARES just as the death toll was being reported in Newtown.
It was a punch in the gut. After thinking about the victims, families, responders and of course the dispatchers, I mentioned to a co-worker that “I bet those dispatchers have been sitting all morning and afternoon with no food or drink”. I know it seems silly but we give of ourselves and in the race to save lives, we forgo simple things like meals. After hours, your body needs the food to fuel performance.
I simply “googled” newtown connecticut pizza and got Carminuccio’s Pizza in Newtown. I called them and explained I wanted three of their most popular pizza pies delivered to the 9-1-1 dispatchers in Newtown. The gal that answered said they didn’t deliver. I explained what was happening and asked for an exception and if someone could maybe help bend the rules. There was a pause and then a “hell yes”. I gave Jaime my credit card number and my cell and thanked her. Done…..not quite.
In less than ten minutes I got a call back. Jaime explained she shared my call with her manager and that they were calling to let me know that my pies would be on the way in a bit and that they were promising that they would make sure the dispatchers got new pizzas, salads and whatever all day and night at NO CHARGE. They thanked us for giving them a way to help.
That is the best analogy for 911 CARES. People want to “help” or appreciate or honor or mourn. Dispatchers want to support their own. If you look at our Facebook page, you will see the many posts that are for there for the Connecticut Dispatchers to read. Newtown, Connecticut State Patrol and allied dispatch centers all worked together and though the death toll of 26 is hard to digest, there were over 580 people SAFELY evacuated. We MUST take any positive moment and celebrate that.
You can read updates, postings from others and more at our Facebook page where we will post updates. PSTC 911 CARES Facebook www.facebook.com/pstc911
We also post updates at our 911 CARES web site for those that are unable to visit social network sites at work. 911 CARES Website www.911cares.com
Mark J. Fletcher, ENP is the Chief Architect for Worldwide Public Safety Solutions at Avaya. As a seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of service, he provides the strategic roadmap and direction of Next Generation Emergency Services in both the Enterprise and Government portfolios at Avaya. In 2014, Fletcher was made a member of the NENA Institute Board in the US, and co-chair of the EENA NG112 Committee in the EU, where he provides insight to State and Federal legislators globally driving forward both innovation and compliance.