PSAPs across the Country provide assistance and emergency response every minute of the day for callers in need, but who provides support to the PSAPs when they have any emergency –TERT.
TERT was first developed out of the need for assistance to public safety communications centers facing seemingly insurmountable challenges following a natural or man-made disaster. The greatest challenge that these agencies face is the ability to maintain adequate staffing levels. The TERT program created the establishment of an appropriately trained team of Dispatchers who can be deployed to assist these agencies during, and following, the time of the disaster.
Recognizing the importance of this program, Maine NENA has accepted the challenge and formed a recognized team of just such trained personnel.
On January 21, 2015, Maine NENA Chapter (ME-NENA) President Tammy Barker and Maine Emergency Management Director (MEMA) Bruce Fitzgerald signed a formal MOU to establish the procedures and policies that will guide Maine NENA and MEMA in the use of the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) for requested assistance during disaster relief operations. This MOU also directs that ME-NENA will provide and coordinate personnel for the effective delivery of trained Emergency Telecommunicators during emergency situations. It also recognizes MEMA as the lead state agency in coordinating state resources for Emergency Services operations and assisting counties in coordinating requests for specialized resources such as Emergency Telecommunicators throughout the state and interstate in the event of an EMAC request.
While the vast majority of the time we are busy taking care of the emergency needs of the general public and our first responders, it is also important that all public safety communications realize the need to take care of our fellow Telecommunicators. We can do that by the establishment of a TERT in each and every State in the Country.