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December 19, 2012
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News for emergency communications and response professionals

  Making the Call 
  • Newtown, Conn., first responders won't shake memories quickly
    Emergency responders on the scene at the Newtown, Conn., school shooting will use various coping strategies to deal with the tragedy, but the images are likely to remain with them for a long time, experts say. "Kid calls are the most difficult ones to handle because they strip away responders’ usual coping strategies," said Joel Fay, a psychologist who works with public safety professionals. Typical coping strategies are likely to be ineffective, and some might blame themselves for not arriving more quickly, Fay said. Boston Herald (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Emergency responders share their heartbreak after shooting
    First responders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., said they were heartbroken they could not save lives, as they are trained to do, but they stand ready to help the community in any way they can. "It was probably the biggest roller coaster of emotion that you could possibly have to see one family reunite and another one still lost," one responder said. ABC News (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Natural disasters show need for communications backup
    Superstorm Sandy and other recent disasters have highlighted the need for emergency communications systems to have layers of backup, experts say. Though the situation has improved since Sept. 11, 2001, commercial carriers' outages left up to 25% of people in Sandy's wake without cell service. Land mobile radio systems, satellite systems and conventional methods such as walking door to door are options until a nationwide interoperable broadband network is built. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Pulse 
  • FCC tweaks health care plan for rural areas, moves on 9-1-1 texts
    The Federal Communications Commission moved Wednesday to enact changes to the rural health care component of the Universal Service program after a test that the agency termed successful. The FCC also proposed rules that would require carriers to allow subscribers to send text messages to 911 emergency centers by 2014 in an effort to codify steps voluntarily taken by the four major carriers. In addition, the agency moved ahead on plans to free up wireless spectrum by allowing commercial services to share a slice of 3.5 GHz frequencies held by the military in a step designed to give a boost to small cell technology. (12/12), News Service (12/12), Total Telecom Magazine (U.K.)/Dow Jones Newswires (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cost puts safety technology out of reach for some cities
    A new gunfire detection system would benefit the city of Holyoke, Mass., officials say. The system uses sensors to detect the sound of a gunshot and software to pinpoint the shooting location. Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger says the technology would help police do their jobs, but the price tag might be too high for the city. Republican (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation Insights 
  • FEMA awards grant to W.Va. alt-fuel safety training program
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded nearly $1 million to the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium at West Virginia University to train first responders on how to handle emergencies involving alternative-fuel vehicles. "The next-generation vehicles that use alternative fuels and advanced technologies are just as safe as conventional vehicles, but different. Therefore, it is critical that our first responders are properly trained to understand the differences, so they can safely respond, without any hesitation, to an accident involving these vehicles," said the consortium's executive director, Al Ebron. The State Journal (Charleston, W.Va.) (12/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NENA News 
  • NENA applauds FCC action to spur text messaging to 9-1-1
    On the heels of the historic agreement between NENA-The 9-1-1 Association, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and the Association for Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) to bring text-to-9-1-1 capabilities to the "Big 4” wireless networks in 2014, the FCC has taken further action to enable this technology and ensure that all Americans, especially those with hearing and speech disabilities, have access to 9-1-1.

    "NENA thanks the FCC, specifically Chairman Genachowski and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, for their ongoing commitment to 9-1-1 issues,” said NENA President Barbara Jaeger. "We look forward to working with the Commission and all stakeholders to make text-to-9-1-1 a success. However, until text-to-9-1-1 becomes available – and even after -- citizens contacting 9-1-1 should do so via voice communications whenever possible.” Read more.

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To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness."
--Bertrand Russell,
British philosopher, mathematician and historian

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