National Joint TERT Initiative


Issue: 12

August 2013

In This Issue of NJTI

NJTI Panels

TERT Panels in conferences  

Reserve TERT Accessories


TERT accessories are available for TERT related conferences. Shipping to your location will be free. The only cost to you will be the outgoing shipping you pay. Click Here for more details.


Display panels currently reserved for:


Aug. 18-21

TERT Clothing  



Mission Statement

TERT Documents


Deployment Testimonials




I was part of the group from Broome County who responded as a TERT to Suffolk County after Hurricane Sandy struck.  We left to head to the island on Thursday, Nov. 8th, with the idea we would begin our complete assignment the following day.  We traveled down with a 12-passenger van and trailer that was filled with our personal supplies (clothes. food, toiletries), boxes of MRE’s, many gallons of drinking water and stuffed animals to give to children who were affected.  I would of estimated that we were probably prepared to stay twice as long as we were needed.


Joshua Owen, emergency services dispatcher, Broome County Office of Emergency Services.

Motivational Corner


Life as a Dispatcher 


 A Day in the Life of a Dispatcher

I leave my home and my family too
To go to the station my job to do,
My kids don’t know when I’ll work or I won’t
My schedule’s so crazy I sometimes don’t!
It’s hard to leave when my family’s at home
But this shift will soon change, it won’t be long.

I walk in the door and the first thing I see
is the dispatcher on duty just before me.
With a quick rundown of the day’s events,
A sympathetic smile and a couple of hints,
She’s out the door and back to her life
And I whisper a prayer for safety tonight.

My two worlds are different in so many ways
The language we speak, the things that we say.
At home it’s “Mom, can I have some more, please?”
And here, it’s 10-4 and 10-29P’s.
Though different at times they’re similar too
Because someone’s life is depending on you.

You answer the phone call after call –
A lost dog, a found cat or nothing at all.
Then the phone rings and the voice on the line
Is screaming for help and you know that it’s time.
Your training takes over, you get help on the way,
As you dispatch units you silently pray

“Oh, Lord, please go with them wherever they go
They’re risking their lives for one they don’t know.
For every officer I have to send
Is not just my co-worker but also my friend.
They have homes and families too,
So I’m asking you, Lord, Please see them through.”

As the first of the officers arrive on the scene
You hear the radio beginning to sing.
Send Rescue, and Crime Scene, and CID
Get some more units and call 1,2, and 3.
Send out a BOLO, call this girl’s mom
Have her go to the hospital but try to sound calm.

The crisis is over and they’re back on patrol
And you know it’s okay to lose control.
A couple of tears, a few minutes alone
and back out you go to answer more phones.
The music’s too loud, there’s a cow in the road
The neighbors are watering in spite of the code.

The next dispatcher is a welcome sight
When she walks in and says, “been a long night?”
You give a quick rundown of the day’s events,
a sympathetic smile and a couple of hints,
And when the last of my officers calls 10-42
Today my job’s done and I go home too.


by Karen Whaley, Arcadia (FL) Police Department


Committee Members/Volunteers


Christine Burke

Jim Tanner

Yolanda Callaway

Brianna Fields

Lena Gribb

Michele Blais

Violet Anderson

Cozett Davis

Training Committee

Christine Burke

Lisa Fulton

Linda Davis

Jesse Creech

Brianna Fields

D. Jeremy Demar

Diane Pickering

 Standard Committee

Lynnette Doyal

Brian Burgamy

Linda Davis

Kimberly Burdick

Cory James

D. Jeremy DeMar

Violet Anderson

Legislative Committee

Brian Burgamy

Kimberly Burdick


Jim Tanner

D. Jeremy DeMar

Brian Burgamy


Lisa Fulton

Alejandro Moreno

Quick Links


Message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this issue of the NJTI Newsletter. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.




Cristina Cabrera

North Central Texas Council of Governments

616 Six Flags Drive, Centerpoint Two, Arlington, TX 76011



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Washington State TERT

The Long and Winding Road to Blue





Washington State began looking into establishing a TERT Program in 2005 at the suggestion of the Washington State E9-1-1 Office Manager. Cory Ahrens, the Telecommunicator Project Manager with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) (POST) managed the Telecommunicator (training) Program and began to research TERT. Eleven years prior to that, there had been large wildfires in Eastern Washington. Several groups of volunteer telecommunicators went into the affected community to assist the PSAP with the increased volume of calls resulting from the fires. Cory had worked to set up the volunteer response to that event as there was no formal process for this type of occurrence.


The Washington Chapters of APCO/NENA worked closely together and created a TERT Committee to work on this project. TERT Chairpersons and committee members changed over the next several years, each contributing bits and pieces


Eventually, the committee came full circle. Cory Ahrens was appointed as the TERT Committee Chair in July 2012. She put together a hard working committee, made a recommendation to WA APCO/NENA for a State TERT Coordinator, Cory James from Norcom, and the group was off and running. They established TERT Regions within the State and appointed Regional Coordinators. The group completed work on the WA TERT Program Guide. They attended meetings and gave presentations. The CJTC offered TERT Member and Leader Training and trained over 100 individuals in the state.


The “Two Cory’s” set up meetings with the Washington State Emergency Management Department to gather paperwork and information for PSAPS to assist them with the agreements needed for reimbursement and deployment. They gave more talks and more presentations! Cory Ahrens addressed the WA APCO/NENA memberships garnering their vote approving the creation of WA TERT.


In June, 2013, the WA TERT Committee submitted paperwork to the NJTI for recognition as a deployable state and WE TURNED BLUE!!


This was a labor of love on the part of many individuals, all of whom gave up their time and energy to make TERT happen for Washington

 State and while we don’t wish a disaster upon anyone, we can’t wait for our first deployment!!




Request for Testimonials


Have you participated in a TERT Deployment? Send a brief Testimonial, to be featured in one of the monthly newsletters to 

New Editor


My name is Cristina Cabrera, I will be the new editor for the the NJTI-TERT newsletter.  I look forward to providing you with exceptional customer service and up to date information.  Please let me know of any changes you would like to make to the information given in this newsletter, as well as feedback.


Cristina Cabrera

What’s Happening in Your State 

16 Deployable23 In Progress–11 Inactive



Indiana TERT 

Indianapolis TERT Basic and Team Leader  



Indiana TERT held their first set of TERT Basic Awareness and Team Leader courses during the week of July 22nd in South Bend and Indianapolis.  The program is well on its way to becoming active, and the dedication, excitement and support of becoming part of the TERT program is strong with the Telecommunicators throughout the state.  I was fortunate in being a part of their state program, as they reached out to Texas TERT for training.  At the end of the week, 62 people were trained in Basic Awareness and 35 were training in Team Leader.  That is a great start!  I want to wish nothing but the best for the great people of Indiana as they continue in getting their TERT program official. 


Jason Smith, ENP

Texas TERT – Communications Liaison

NCTCOG Regional 9-1-1 Program



South Bend TERT Team Leader class


 South Bend TERT Basic class



New Hampshire


The NHTERT Board of Directors elected and appointed their Chairman, State, Regional Coordinators and Deputy Regional Coordinators for two year terms at the June meeting:


NHTERT Chairman 2013-2014: Chief Phil Tirrell, Southwest Fire.

NHTERT State Coordinator: Tom Andross, Grafton County.  


North Region:

Coordinator: Supervisor Tony Stiles, Grafton County.

Deputy: Dispatcher Michael Weden, Grafton County.


East Region:

Coordinator: Deputy Chief Joe Sangermano, Southwest Fire.

Deputy: Lt. Kevin Kennedy, Southwest Fire.


Elected at Annual Meeting in April:

Secretary/Treasurer: Bonnie Johnson, Southwest Fire.

Directors: Dispatcher Nikki Wheeler, Belmont Police.

 Dispatcher Thayer Paronto, Grafton County.



New York


A reminder that the next (and currently final) block of TERT instruction scheduled for NY-TERT for 2013 will be October 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in New York City, sponsored by FDNY. For more information on these sessions or to register, e-mail


We’re looking for a county in the southwestern portion of the state to host two days of TERT training. The venue will need to hold approximately 30 people, with access to an LCD projector and screen. A computer connected to the projector and screen would be helpful. Training would be in late October/early to mid November 2013. Please contact New York State Deputy TERT Coordinator D. Jeremy DeMar, RPL, ENP at if you’re able to assist.

Training Schedule



Upcoming Training


TERT Basic & Team Leader

Location: OCALA PD, Marion County, Florida

Date: September 25 & 26


TERT Basic

Location: NYC

Date: October 1 and 3rd


TERT Team Leader

Location: NYC

Date: October 2nd and 4th

5 Minute Training




Home Sweet Home 


Mental preparation goes further than dealing with the disaster you have responded to. Taking care of other’s is your mission; however, taking care of yourself is paramount! Let’s get back to the basics:


Family Communication

The telecommunicator’s possible inability to communicate with family members in a disaster area may be a frequent occurrence. As such, telecommunicators must be sure they not only recognize limitations of regular communication, but their family members understand the possible limitations in communication. Telecommunicators should talk with their family and explain how the destruction in a disaster area and shift work may impact their ability to call home. Additionally, telecommunicators who have been deployed in a disaster area may not be able to return home immediately and may need to wait for transportation or until the end of the deployment cycle. When the opportunity exists, call loved ones, friends, and family. Their voice, knowledge of events at home (even seemingly insignificant events, such as school activities), and an outlet for your emotions may relieve stress.



Coping Strategies

Research into the coping strategies used by and found effective by emergency responders has generally focused on law enforcement and fire department responders. Compounding the difficulty in researching coping skills employed by all emergency responders is the very nature of these responders. They have been trained and have typically put their needs behind the needs of the citizens they are sworn to protect and help. Nevertheless, research has found the following strategies have been effective in relieving and preventing stress.




It’s day three of your deployment, you have been away from family, friends, home and everything familiar. Cell phone service is spotty and when you do try the phone rings with another victim needing assistance. The devastation is heart wrenching and you are reminded each time you take a call from a citizen who has lost everything or can’t locate a family member.




Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive | Centerpoint II | Regional 9-1-1 Program | Arlington | TX | 76011