Tennessee sends 9-1-1 Help to Florida

Monday, September 18, 2017 | 1:15pm
Nashville, Tenn. – A team of 9-1-1 dispatchers deployed today from Chattanooga, Tenn. for a week-long operation in Naples, Fla. to help local first responders with answering emergency calls and dispatching resources as Florida continues to recover from Hurricane Irma.
 
“We continue to be reminded of the critical needs Florida officials are still trying to address a week after Irma’s impact,” said Director Patrick Sheehan of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). “Tennessee’s 9-1-1 professionals work every day to save lives in dire situations, and I’m proud we have a team ready to help Floridians in their time of need.”
 
The six-member team represents the Hamilton County 9-1-1 Unified Emergency Communications District and is the first 9-1-1 team ever deployed out of Tennessee through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
 
“Tennessee is proud to continue its tradition of volunteering by sending the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) to Florida to assist with Hurricane Irma recovery efforts,” said Eddie Burchell, chief of technology for the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board. “Our TERT members will provide some relief to Florida’s telecommunicators as part of our participation in EMAC. TERT volunteers are trained and provide assistance in-state or out-of-state when disaster strikes ensuring the public’s calls for help will be answered.”
 
The 9-1-1 team’s deployment follows Friday’s send-off of workers from Metro Nashville Water Services to help repair water lines along the Florida Keys Aqueduct. A nurse strike team remains deployed in Naples, Fla., supporting shelter operations, and the Tennessee Army National Guard and Tennessee Air National Guard are supporting disaster recovery operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida.
 
TEMA is coordinating all deployments for out-of-state hurricane recovery through EMAC.
 
About the Emergency Management Assistance Compact: EMAC is a nationally adopted mutual aid agreement that is law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. EMAC was ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1996 (Public Law 104-321). Through EMAC, state emergency management agencies are able to share resources with one another during times of emergency and disaster. Learn more about EMAC at www.emacweb.org.
 
About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. Follow TEMA on, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and, at www.tn.gov/tema.