I wanted to express my thanks to the Colorado APCO/NENA chapter for recently selecting the Intrado Emergency Call Relay Center as the 2013 Center of the Year. It is a huge honor, and just another reason that I am so grateful to be a part of the ECRC.
Our ECRC is a state-of-the-art emergency call center for satellite phone, telecommunications relay services (TRS), telematics and VoIP service providers. We have a great team of former PSAP call takers and dispatchers who continue to promote public safety by answering 9-1-1 calls that, for a variety of reasons, don’t make it directly to a PSAP. This group of men and women collectively average over 12 years of dispatch experience per agent in an actual Public Safety Answering Point.
All telecommunicators are required to have a minimum of two years emergency call handling experience in a PSAP before they are eligible for employment here. It is important to us that our call takers know and understand what the PSAP community needs to perform their important roles in public safety. We also have a thorough three month training program to be sure our telecommunicators are skilled at emergency call handling and can obtain relevant information quickly and efficiently so we can get calls to PSAPs as soon as possible.
Everyone is well aware of the natural disaster on the East coast that began October 29, 2012. The storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record and was nicknamed Superstorm Sandy. You might wonder how a hurricane on the east coast affects a group of Colorado telecommunicators. As I mentioned earlier, when 9-1-1 calls don’t make it to their intended destination, they often end up at our ECRC and this became clear all too quickly on the evening of October 29, 2012.
I could not have been more proud to be a part of this team than during Superstorm Sandy. During those three days when Sandy was at its worst, the team received more than three times our average monthly call volume!
It was all hands on deck! Like any other affected PSAP, the team pulled together working long shifts. Some employees even came in on their days off. Others, who are still with Intrado but part of a different team, came in to assist as well. Most of the calls were for the New York City area including calls of shootings, house fires, domestic violence, fights and countless medical calls.
The team accepted their award on October 12, 2013 during the annual Colorado APCO/NENA show. We received a plaque, and a cash award which was donated to a non-profit organization that supports local charities.
Thank you Colorado APCO/NENA, and congratulations to the ECRC team!
Lonna Cain is Director of Emergency Services and Support at Intrado.