Thanksgiving Thanks to 9-1-1


An AUDIO Version of this blog is available on, or you can listen live here:

Every so often I invite a guest blogger to contribute to my Podcast and Avaya CONNECTED Blog series. This week I want to turn the keyboard over to Barry Furey.


Barry Furey,

Barry has been involved in public safety for 45 years, having managed consolidated dispatch centers in four states, and serving as a volunteer fire officer in three. A Life Member and APCO Presidential Award winner, he served as Chair of both the APCO 2002 International Conference and the APCO Homeland Security Task Force. A Contributing Editor for Firehouse Magazine, management columnist for, and a member of the team at he is now CEO of Barry Furey Public Safety Training and Consulting, in Raleigh, NC.


This year has been an incredibly tough one for our profession

My thoughts go out to all my public safety friends who will be spending time with their “second family” on Thanksgiving, instead of home at the dinner table with kith and kin.  This year has been an incredibly tough one for our profession, yet we still have reason to give thanks. Thanks for the spark of human spirit that enables and encourages individuals to continue the centuries’ old tradition of selfless service for the public good.

Recently, there’s been significant discussion, and even Internet memes, dealing with retail employees working on the holiday, and the sacrifices they make for the sake of pursuing a dollar. Some even point out that public safety professionals have worked every conceivable holiday for years without a grass roots outcry. Personally, I don’t think we should take offense that we are expected to always be there. It reinforces that in the mind of society our mission is far more important than that of the big box stores. You can always wait to get another X-box until tomorrow. You can never wait another minute to get emergency help.

What you do makes a difference every day of the year

So here’s a fervent prayer that between the burnt Butterballs, domestics, DUIs, and accidents you find time to reflect on the life path you have chosen – or to at least swallow a few warm bites before the next call. What you do makes a difference every day of the year. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lots of people are thankful for you!

Thanks very much for contributing that  Blog, Barry. I genuinely appreciate the contribution. I often remember my days as a dispatcher  at Sparta PD in New Jersey, back in the 80s. Dee Jones lived in Ogdensburg, the next town over, and one that we dispatched for.  Without fail, every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, she would deliver a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings to whoever was dispatching, which was one of her many  ways of saying “Thanks!;-)).

I still fondly remember the thanks she extended from her entire family, how this tradition and continued on for many years thereafter. To all my friends and colleagues in public safety, thanks very much for doing what you do; and for continuing despite the lack of appreciation and thanks that you normally get.

Follow me on Twitter @Fletch911
Read my other AVAYA CONNECTED Blogs


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, where he provides insight to State and Federal legislators globally driving forward both innovation and compliance.

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