Honoring the best, West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year

Honoring the best, West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year

Ethel Taylor, center, a 20-year dispatcher with Mason County 9-1-1, has been named the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year. She is pictured with Matt Shell, left, 9-1-1 director of operations, who nominated Taylor, and Tiffany Franklin, 9-1-1 director.
POINT PLEASANT — A longtime Mason County 9-1-1 dispatcher has been named the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) West Virginia Telecommunicator of the Year.

Ethel Taylor of Point Pleasant was surprised with the award Tuesday during a party in her honor at the 9-1-1 center.

Taylor has been with Mason County 9-1-1 since 2001. Along with serving as a telecommunicator, she is a supervisor, and is described by her co-workers as the “matriarch” of the agency…

Feds sue North Carolina county over 911 operator’s firing



WILSON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina county’s emergency communications unit engaged in unlawful retaliation when it terminated a worker after she told supervisors that she had been sexually harassed while on the job, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to a department news release Wednesday, Jennifer Riddle began working as a trainee for Wilson County Emergency Communications in 2017 and was soon sexually harassed by the agency’s assistant director. The filing says Riddle complained of the harassment and an investigation substantiated her claims, leading to the assistant director being fired.

After the firing, the lawsuit says, Riddle began experiencing hostility from her supervisor and co-workers, leading to a transfer and, eventually, her firing when she reported to the supervisors on her new shift that she had previously been sexually harassed and the department hadn’t effectively dealt with her harasser…

VoIP Upgrades Bring New Features to Federal Phone Systems

At the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a U.S. government medical training institution, David Lyons has been upgrading the phones.

In 2015, USU — which educates ­students who want to serve in federal health professions, similar to the ­mission of the military academies — converted its phones from conventional analog lines to Voice over Internet Protocol. In such systems, voice is converted to a digital signal, allowing users to make calls directly from a computer, a VoIP phone or other data-driven device.

Recently, the USU system underwent a series of enhancements as part of a five-year plan for telephony ­management, purchasing a host of Cisco Systems products. “There is a ­perception that government is always behind, always trying to play catch-up,” says Lyons, chief of telecommunications at USU… READ MORE

Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet Growth, Another MCPTT Option, FirstNet 10-Year Anniversary Soon, 4.9 GHz

This week we will look at the numbers as FirstNet (Built with AT&T) continues to add more agencies and users and we will discuss its plans to support another Push-To-Talk (PTT) application. We will then consider the possibility that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for the 4.9-GHz band and reflect on public safety’s stance on this spectrum.

FirstNet Growth

Congratulations to FirstNet (Built with AT&T). The latest numbers have been released and they show that the network now supports more than 17,000 agencies and more than 2.5 million users…

2021-11: Kansas Highway Patrol Communications Receives CALEA Accreditation

CALEA accreditation is an accomplishment less than five percent of all law enforcement agencies attain

The Kansas Highway Patrol Communications Center was honored with a Certificate of Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) on Monday, May 10. 

“We at CALEA congratulate the Patrol on achieving Public Safety Communications Accreditation,” said CALEA Regional Program Manager Timothy Baysinger. “Agencies that are able to obtain concurrent CALEA Accreditation in Law Enforcement, Training Academy and Public Safety Communication are eligible to be awarded the CALEA TRI-ARC award. The Kansas Highway Patrol received the prestigious TRI-ARC award upon completion of Public Safety Communications Accreditation in March of 2021…

After a decade, Congress might finally bring 911 into the internet age

When it comes to user-interface design, 911 is about as good as it gets. It’s the “most recognized number in the United States,” Steve Souder, a prominent 911 leader, points out. Simple, fast, and it works from any telephone in the United States. No matter what the emergency is, the call takers on the other side will triage and dispatch assistance.

I’ve taken that ubiquity and simplicity for granted over the past three parts of this EC-1 on RapidSOS as we’ve looked at the startup’s origin storybusiness and products, as well as its partnerships and business development engine. The company is deeply enmeshed with 911, which means that the prospects of 911 as a system will heavily determine the trajectory of RapidSOS in the coming years, or at least, until its international expansion hits scale and it isn’t so dependent on the U.S. market… READ MORE