National Joint TERT Initiative
Issue: 22
June 2014
In This Issue of NJTI

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Brianna Fields, Arkansas APCO

April 12th-16th



Mission Statement

TERT Documents


Deployment Testimonials




I would start by saying it was a great deployment and a great learning experience in many aspects: to learn from how other centers operate and to be able to learn from those we were deployed with. 


John Paffie

Emergency Services Dispatcher

Broome County Office of Emergency Services.

Motivational Corner



Protecting the Three

 I am the Officer, follow me
 Preserving the peace is where I’ll be
 I am the torch that lights the way
 In darkness my courage will pave a way
 Leading the others, that is me
 I am the Officer guiding the three

 I am the Fire Fighter, follow me
 Into the flames is where I will be
 I am he who battles the beast
 To protect that on which it would feast
 Leading strength to the others, that is me
 I am the Fire Fighter supporting the three

 I am the Medic, follow me
 Easing the pain is where I will be
 I am the one who helps them survive
 Lifting the fallen to keep them alive
 Treating the others, that is me
 I am the Medic healing the three

 I am the Dispatcher, don’t follow me
 Agony and chaos is where I will be
 Working in obscurity, this forgotten place
 Not death, but insanity is the danger I face
 Answering the call, that is me
 I am the Dispatcher protecting the Three 

Who Am I?

I am the voice that calms the mother
breathing life into her infant son.
I am the invisible hand that holds and
comforts the elderly man who woke up
and found his wife of 50 years had
passed away during the night.
I am the friend who talks the disgruntled 
teenager out of ending her own life.
I sent help when you had your first
automobile accident.

I am the one who tries to obtain the information
from callers to ensure that the scene is safe for
those I dispatch to emergencies – all the while
anticipating the worst and hoping for the best.

I am the psychologist who readily adapts by
language and tone of voice to serve the needs
of my callers with compassion and understanding.
I am the ears that listen to the needs of all 
those I serve.

I have heard the screams of faceless people
I will never meet nor forget.
I have cried at the atrocities of mankind and
rejoiced at the miracle of life.

I was there, though unseen, by my comrades
in the field during the most trying emergencies.
I have tried to visualize the scene to coincide
with the voices I have heard.

I am usually not privy to the outcome of
the call, and so I wonder…

I am the one who works weekends, strange
shifts and holidays.  Children do not say they
want my job when they grow up.
Yet, I am at this vocation by choice.
Those I help do not call back to say thank you.
Still, there is comfort in the challenge, integrity
and the purpose of my employment.

I am thankful to provide such a meaningful service.
I am a mother, a father, sister, brother, son or
a daughter.
I am here when you need me and still here when you don’t.
My office is never empty, and the work here
is never done.  I am always on call.  The training is
strenuous, demanding and endless.
No two days at work are ever the same.

Who Am I?
I am an emergency dispatcher and I am proud. 


Author- Unknown 


Work Group
Team Leader Update Work Group
Jesse Creech
Linda Davis
Sherry Decker
D. Jeremy DeMar
Natalie Duran
Brianna Fields
Lisa Fulton
Laura Litzerman
Christine Massengale
Shantelle Oliver
Diana Pickering
Jason Smith

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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
817-695-9155 ext: 7155
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New State Coordinator

This week, as we observe the 3 year anniversary of the Joplin tornado and the subsequent first ever deployment of the Missouri TERT program, I am introducing myself as the new Missouri TERT State Coordinator.  My name is Kima Burnett and I am the Training Coordinator for Jasper County Emergency Services in Carthage, Missouri.  This week I celebrated 17 years of service and have been with the agency since inception in 1997.  It is with great honor that I accept the appointment by the Missouri NENA and Missouri APCO boards.   


I had the privilege of being the supervisor on duty at the time of the May 2011 Joplin tornado.  I use the word privilege because I was where I was supposed to be, I helped those I was supposed to help, and I lead when I was meant to lead.  My 4 hour Sunday shift turned into 19 hours of auto-pilot navigation thru the most significant incident of my career.  The fabulous team I work with gave their time and compassion selflessly and together we conquered the controlled chaos.  In the days following the tornado, as the magnitude of the disaster became evident, it was obvious that communication mutual aid was needed.  Elizabeth Pierson, the State Coordinator at the time, began receiving calls soon after the tornado from TERT members who were volunteering to deploy.  Jasper County Emergency Services hosted 20 professional telecommunicators from all over the State of Missouri.  The teams reported to our center and lived on cots in our EOC from 5/25/11 through 6/1/11.  They worked in 12-hour shifts to man the two EMS staging points, the Joplin Fire volunteer staging site, they dispatched from Joplin Fire Station 1 and the Joplin Command Bus.  They covered communications for the search and rescue teams and provided support at Joplin’s PSAP and at our PSAP.  Years of preparation and the participation of a great group of public safety professionals, facilitated by April Tarrant, Executive Director for Jasper County Emergency Services, resulted in a very successful deployment.  This allowed our agency personnel the ability to seamlessly cover our PSAP duties.    


Since May, 2011, I have had the pleasure of traveling the country with April, my boss, mentor and friend, to provide training presentations based on our experiences with the May 2011 tornado.  The common theme of questioning seems to be “what went wrong” though we prefer to focus on “what went right” as the latter is a much longer list.  As I embrace the duties associated with Missouri TERT State Coordinator, I do so with specific goals in mind.  I hope to soon complete the requirements necessary to establish MO-TERT as a nationally recognized deployable TERT program.  It is also wish is to create a database for MO-TERT members to view their membership status as well as that of their agency’s program participation.  Finally, I intend to promote and train, whenever the opportunity presents itself, on the benefits of individual and agency participation.  I am receiving great support locally and throughout Missouri and I look forward to witnessing the growth of MO-TERT. 


Kima Burnett


MO-TERT State Coordinator


Request for Testimonials

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

What’s Happening in Your State 
18 Deployable21 In Progress–11 Inactive



On March 27th, 2014, a 16 year old juvenile went missing from an address in Middle Tennessee and the search lasted for almost a week. Law enforcement officers were on the scene at the command post, monitoring and logging all radio traffic while documenting search information into the WebEOC. The Office of Public Safety Director who was the former 9-1-1 Director in the area realized that dispatchers were better equipped for that type of job duties while it also would free up the officers for the search. He reached out to the present 9-1-1 Director who made contact with the TERT Leader for the 9-1-1 center who is also a Middle TN Regional Coordinator for TN-TERT. Three dispatchers from two centers were deployed to assist at the command post. TERT members were there for approximately 14 hours that day and the boy was found that evening. Now, I would like to think that it was all because TERT members were sent out to help, however, the truth is that it was the teamwork of all public safety responders associated with the search as well as volunteers from the community who pulled together and succeeded in finding this young man. Whether it is a PSAP, Incident Command Post, or EOC, when it comes to radio monitoring and logging of information, no one is better suited than an Emergency Telecommunicator. 


Jim Tanner





The following 9-1-1 Professionals completed TERT Deployment Awareness (Basic) Training at the Emergency Communications Department in Rochester, NY on April 29, 2014:


Elizabeth Marks  – Dispatcher – Wyoming County 911


Mark Deisenroth – Public Safety Dispatcher II – Monroe County 911


Joshua Taylor – Public Safety Dispatcher II – Monroe County 911


Janis Kaseman – Public Safety Dispatcher I Police – Monroe County 911


Travis Dobrowsky – Public Safety Dispatcher I Fire – Monroe County 911


Scott Spencer – Public Safety Dispatcher II – Monroe County 911


Lisa Russo – Public Safety Dispatcher I Police – Monroe County 911


NY-TERT welcomes these seven professionals to the NY-TERT family.





I was recently appointed, by the incoming Missouri NENA President, Rance Duffy, to take over the Missouri TERT State Coordinator position, previously held by Elizabeth Pierson. My previous position was that of committee chair for MoTERT.  MoTERT had its first official deployment during the May, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. 



 Kim Burnett

 MO-TERT State Coordinator


Training Schedule
Upcoming Training:

NJTI-TERT- “How Far We’ve Come Baby”       

Tuesday, 5/20

4:00-5:00 pm         

Park Lake, FL

Natalie Duran  (Instructor)


Further information about the hotel, registration, etc. can be found on the APCO Florida Website:



Basic Awareness- 5/26

Team Leader- 5/27

Train the Trainer- 5/28-5/29

Pittsburg, PA



6/9- Basic Awareness

6/10- Team Leader

6/11-6/12- Train the Trainer

Indianapolis, IN


TERT Basic Awareness-

Location:  Reno, NV

When:  June 2, 2014


TERT Basic Awareness-

Location: Las Vegas, NV

When:  June 5, 2014


TERT Team Leader-

Location:  Reno, NV

When:  June 3, 2014


TERT Team Leader-

Location: Las Vegas, NV

When:  June 6, 2014


TERT Basic Awareness Training

Location: Round Rock Police Department

2701 N. Mays St. Round Rock, TX 78665

When: Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 8:30am-5:00pm


TERT Team Leader Training

Location: Round Rock Police Department

2701 N. Mays St. Round Rock, TX 78665

When: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:30am-5:00pm



5 Minute Training

Triggering Event Phase


Confusion and intense media interest prevail during the immediate aftermath of a large-scale incident. Information is usually incomplete, and facts are disorganized. It is important to recognize that information from the media and/or other organizations, and information from within the CCT, might not be accurate. PIOs must determine the facts about the incident, learn about the jurisdiction’s response to the situation, and verify the true magnitude of the event as quickly as possible.


The triggering event and its immediate consequences will result in intense media attention, which will continue for an indefinite amount of time. Thus all crisis communications planning must concentrate on effectively managing the first 48 hours of the emergency. What is said or not said, and when and how a message is delivered, will profoundly affect the reputation of the entire jurisdiction.


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