National Joint TERT Initiative
Issue: 19
March 2014
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:


Brianna Fields, Arkansas APCO

April 12th-16th


Laura Litzerman

April 4th-10th


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



Just A Voice Dispatcher Poem

You don’t know who I am; to you I am just a voice.
It was me who took your frantic call, when you had no other choice.

I spend many hours waiting, to help when you’re in need.
“Send help to me, please get them here is often what you plead.

To do my job is complex, but only a few tools are a must
Put your faith in me, I am the one that you can trust.

My ears are a necessity; my mouth a mighty sword
I must use my ears to listen, and then choreograph every word.

I am the protector of this land; I take pride in what I do
I am here to listen and do what is best for you.

The day you place a call to me, might be the worst day you ever had
At least today you know, I too was feeling sad.

I take your problems home with me, I know that’s not so good,
But as you felt your tragedy it was by your side I stood.

I walked with you to the door, to let them into help,
I guided you to safety, when all alone you felt.

It is not often we hear praise or even simple thanks,
But the cookies and cards are plenty through police and fire ranks.

The day you placed your call, and I picked up the phone
I hope I made you feel safe and showed you you’re not alone.

Remember who I am, I am not just a voice
I am the 911 Dispatcher you called when you had no other choice.

Remember your 911 Dispatchers during

Author: Tracy Eldridge
Rochester, MA Communications Center




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
Laura Litzerman
Jason Smith
Shantelle Oliver
 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
Cristina Cabrera

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
817-695-9155 ext: 7155
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Washington State TERT Team

Philosophy of Service


As important as the physical and mental preparation is to the mission of a TERT team, the biggest hurdle in our mental preparation is to understand and work within our mission. The philosophy of the Washington TERT program is the philosophy of service.

When you arrive at a requesting/receiving PSAP, the question should not be, “What do you want us to do?”? The question should be, “How can we serve you?” The spirit of service is different than the spirit of “fixing”. As TERT members, WE ARE NOT THERE TO FIX THINGS. We cannot fix things. We can support them as they fix themselves, but we are not “fixers”.  Our mission is to serve them and the communities they serve. We are there to support them in their PSAP’s continuity of operations for the good of the community.  It is critical to the success of the team that you understand this philosophy and the difference between serving and fixing. We are here to serve. How may we serve you? Not, how can I fix you or your situation? Consider as part of your mental preparedness that you examine your reasons for wanting to be a TERT member. Are you a “fixer” or a “server”? Keep an open mind and examine your own philosophy.  Using the philosophy of service also means that we do not judge or comment upon an agency’s resources, operating philosophy, equipment, policies, practices, or personnel. We accept and serve the situation, PSAP, personnel as they are.  Key to serving as a useful member of the receiving PSAP team requires an understanding of group or team dynamics. Groups go through several stages of development. In 1965 Bruce W. Tuckman, an educational psychologist proposed a model that described the phases that are necessary for a group to go through in order to become effective.  For TERT teams, there are several groups/teams to consider. 1) The TERT team deployed 2) The group or team on the shift you are assigned to at the receiving PSAP (and these may change) 3) The other TERT members on your assigned shift at the receiving PSAP. Navigating them all requires knowledge of group dynamics and attention paid to which group is involved.




In the first stages of team building or group dynamics, comes the FORMING stage. This stage is where a new group comes together (or one or more new persons are added to an existing group) and each individual’s behavior is motivated by their need to be accepted by others in the group. This can be a “honeymoon” period identified by avoidance of conflict or controversy.

The group may consist of a new work shift that sees some members leave and other new ones arrive. The group learns about the shift’s opportunities and challenges and determines the general flow of work and requirements of the shift. Team members tend to work and behave independently. Often, they have no formal process for establishing shift or team goals or objectives. Most individuals are on their best behavior, but self-focused. This is where members of the team get to know one another. This is also where team members watch to see how other members respond to work load, stress, and each other.



The next stage that the group will enter is the STORMING stage. In this stage the group individual’s ideas compete for consideration. The group decides on the formal or informal leader or leadership style preference. Team members are more comfortable confronting each other’s ideas or perspectives. This stage is where initial conflict arises and through effective interpersonal skills, this is the stage where the team may experience some stressful interactions. This is a NECESSARY stage for the group to work through in order to come together as an effective and cohesive team. This is also the stage where teams get stuck and never progress to the other phases. The group will be working more toward an understanding of individual roles and responsibilities. Because conflict can arise, some of the members may attempt to avoid confronting issues, thereby holding the group progress back. Supervisors, who intervene at this stage with a “no conflict” message, may further delay the team’s progress into the next phase of development. This stage is critical for the formation of an effective team.

Be cautious about becoming involved in “storming” with the receiving PSAP personnel. In normal settings, this would be a normal progression. However, in a situation where personnel may be already overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed, taking a more reflective, supportive, or submissive role may create more acceptance and cause less stress for others.



In this phase, team members understand the “rules of engagement”, individual tasks and responsibilities and are generally in agreement. Effective group members practice tolerance and patience and exhibit supportive behaviors. This is a difficult stage to achieve. Every team member must begin to understand other member’s points of view and needs, and generally what the team will or will not accept or tolerate. This is a critical phase in order for a highly effective and successful team to be able to move into the next phase. Think about when you have shift shake-ups. Maybe it’s a new shift bid situation. New shift members are added, others go to other shifts. You may experience the storming phase as everyone finds his or her position within the group. Once you become familiar with behaviors and expectations, there may be less surface or sub-surface conflict.

This is the norming phase – everyone is learning what to expect from their teammates. For some groups, this is as good as it gets. For various reasons, the group “norm” may never move to the next stage, which is performing (as in HIGH PERFORMING).



This is the phase that good teams work to achieve. Unfortunately, this phase is not reached by all groups or teams. It is characterized by member’s being able to work interdependently and flexibly. This group operates effectively as a unit finding ways to get the job done effectively without inappropriate behaviors and conflict. This group tends to need minimal supervision. Performing teams may revert back to earlier stages. Changes occur in the workplace or among team members that may cause the group or team to go back to storming or norming stages.



This phase occurs when the group’s goals are accomplished or there is a disengagement of members or duties. In a communications center, this may occur when new shift bids are put in place and the team breaks up as members go to different shifts, etc.

This phase may include a sense of loss by the group when a highly effective team breaks up.


The new team now goes back to the forming stage and begins again. This may be a difficult phase not only for you in leaving a group with which you may have bonded, but may be equally difficult for the receiving PSAP personnel who, having accepted you and your team as part of their team, now no longer have your support or have to look forward to bringing in another team made up of strangers.


Cory Ahrens




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

Hi there, I am the state coordinator for Colorado, this January Aspen communication center requested TERT assistance during the X games.  Knowing the impact the X games would have on their dispatchers. Regional Coordinators sent out the request and we were able to send Stephanie  Huff from Denver Metro to assist with the 4 day event.  Here is a summary of her work.

I was invited to assist multiple jurisdictions to support the influx of visitors for the 2014 X Games in Aspen. This was an exciting opportunity for me to visit another agency and learn how smaller agencies operate and handle each call.


My job was primarily to monitor three radio channels and the telephone. I had ESPN’s “blue” emergency channel, their customer service channel and a MAC police channel.  From those I was to listen for requests and emergencies. I recorded a few traffic stops, dispatched a couple minor calls for police intervention and ran several people for warrants mostly for the CSP team and Liquor Enforcement.  


The X Games operation was definitely a success. There were a few radio hiccups with the transmissions being difficult to hear but the problems were always resolved.

During my stay in Aspen, the team was wonderful with me. Bruce Romero, the communications director picked me up every morning to make sure I got breakfast at the games and food was provided/catered nearly around the clock at the firehouse we were working from. I was also put up in one of the adorable dorm rooms in the firehouse. My coworkers welcomed me as one of their own and I was invited out to explore Aspen with them. Although Aspen was quite the road trip for me (5 ½ hrs in the snow storm), I would do it again in a heartbeat. 


Stephanie Huff


Pictures included, Stephanie

is on the left, I am in the middle and another Aspen dispatcher on the right.


New York


The Emergency Communications Department (City of Rochester/County of Monroe) will be hosting an NJTI Certified TERT Deployment Awareness (TERT Basic) class on  April 29, 2014 from 800am to 400pm; 321 W Main St, Rochester. Applicants must complete FEMA’s IS-100 and IS-700 to be eligible to register and attend.This training is being provided FREE OF CHARGE to staff members of New York State based PSAP’s and Emergency Communications Centers. To register or for more information on the class, please e-mail


Work continues on NY-TERT’s first TERT “Train the Trainer” instructor class. This two day instructional workshop is geared towards those seeking certification as a Regional NJTI Certified TERT Instructor for both “Deployment Awareness” and “Team Leader” curriculums Qualified candidates will possess a background in training, instruction, and curriculum development, and will be comfortable presenting material in front of a variety of group sizes. The successful candidate will also be comfortable working with and developing presentations in Microsoft Powerpoint and/or other presentation software. A letter of recommendation from your agency or department head will also be required. The class is slated to be held in Onondaga County (Syracuse) in May of this year, however an exact date for the class is pending. If you or someone in your agency is interested in attending or learning more about the TERT TTT Instructor Program, please send a letter of interest and a copy of your resume to

D. Jeremy DeMar, RPL, ENP, COML

Training Schedule
Upcoming Training:
Class: TERT Basic
When: April 29, 2014 from 8:00am to 4:00pm;
Location: 321 W Main St, Rochester.
Required: Applicants must complete FEMA’s IS-100 and IS-700 to be eligible to register and attend.

5 Minute Training

Pipeline Emergency Response

First Response Check list




This information is intended to aid PSAPs in the development and implementation of emergency communications protocols pertaining to pipeline emergencies. It addresses common situations involving pipelines carrying non-toxic natural gas and hazardous liquid petroleum products.




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