MOUNTAIN VALLEY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS center
MOUNTAIN VALLEY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS center
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC),
a regional public safety answering point serving the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn, New Jersey, announces plans to implement “EmergencyLocate”, an online enhancement tool for MVECC’s recently implemented what3words location identification platform. MVECC is the first public safety answering point in the country to operationalize EmergencyLocate.
Developed in the United Kingdom (UK), EmergencyLocate works in concert with the what3words application to gather and share location data with 9-1-1 dispatchers in real time, without the caller needing to verbally provide their location. EmergencyLocate is currently in use in the UK and in Canada and provides three tiers of service to its customers. The first tier or “Free Tier” is available to 9-1-1 and emergency communications centers at no charge, while the “Basic Tier” and “Enhanced Tier” are available for a nominal charge. A programming interface is also available for Computer Aided Dispatch and Telephony integrations.
EmergencyLocate founder and developer Nick Sutton stated “It is a hugely exciting time to be working with Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center, the very first 911 ECC in the United States to make use of our functionality. Emergency call handling around the world is a critical and difficult role and by bringing a modern solution to MVECC’s staff that is built with real-world knowledge of the sector, I hope to be able to make their job a little easier. Doing so will improve 911 caller safety, response times, and help safeguard the mental health of 911 dispatchers who desperately need access to the best tools to be able to do their jobs effectively."
Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP added “We are excited to be working with Nick and the EmergencyLocate team to bring additional critical caller location capability into our center. When a person experiencing an emergency is not able to confirm their exact location for our 9-1-1 professionals, and conventional location determination technology is not an option, EmergencyLocate gives our dispatchers an alternative means of determining the caller’s exact location, even if the caller isn’t able to convey the information verbally.”
MVECC expects to begin testing EmergencyLocate in January with implementation to occur shortly thereafter. More information on EmergencyLocate can be found by visiting the website at https://emergencylocate.co.uk/
Persons experiencing an emergency should always call 9-1-1 first.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC), a regional public safety answering point serving the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn, New Jersey, announces the implementation of Motorola Solutions CommandCentral Citizen Input, an application which will allow 9-1-1 callers to send pictures and video or “Incident Related Imagery” from an emergency scene to first responders through the 9-1-1 system. MVECC is the first public safety answering point in the state and the first in the northeastern part of the nation to operationalize this new public safety solution.
“Mountain Valley Emergency Communications is a true leader among public safety agencies,” said Lynne Houserman, vice president, Emergency Call Handling, Software Enterprise, Motorola Solutions. “CommandCentral Citizen Input is a brand-new service from Motorola Solutions; Mountain Valley Emergency Communications is an early adopter among 9-1-1 agencies in the Northeast and the first to implement it in New Jersey since its recent release. By deploying CommandCentral Citizen Input, MVECC is providing their citizens with a lifeline, enabling them to quickly provide 9-1-1 call takers with images, streaming video or recordings through a cloud-based service so that the call takers have added information to inform their decision-making and expedite a safe response to the event.”
Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP added “Since the very first 9-1-1 call was made over fifty years ago, emergency communications professionals have relied on 9-1-1 callers to provide emergency information verbally. While our nation’s 9-1-1 professionals do a wonderful job determining the nature of a problem based solely on what they are hearing, advances in technology and in the wireless devices many people carry now permits callers to send images and video directly from an emergency scene to 9-1-1 and first responders. Motorola’s CommandCentral Citizen Input will for the very first time, allow MVECC’s 9-1-1 professionals to receive Incident Related Imagery (pictures and video) from a 9-1-1 caller and relay it accordingly to our public safety partners responding to an emergency. A true game-changer for the 9-1-1 profession.”
MVECC expects delivery and initial testing of the CommandCentral Citizen Input application to occur in January 2021, with staff training and implementation to follow. Since the visual component of 9-1-1 call processing is a completely new initiative for the emergency communications profession, MVECC has created an Incident Related Imagery (IRI) workgroup consisting of several frontline dispatch personnel, who will work closely with MVECC’s Leadership Team to develop policies and procedures for the use of this technology.
Persons experiencing an emergency should always call 9-1-1 first.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC), a regional public safety answering point serving the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn, New Jersey, announces the adoption and implementation of “what3words” location identification technology. MVECC is the first public safety answering point in the state and the first in the northeastern part of the nation to operationalize this groundbreaking location identification tool.
London-based technology company what3words started the rollout of its innovative location technology to Emergency Services in the UK and South Africa in 2019, and Australia and Canada in 2020. What3words has been used thousands of times to find people needing help. Using what3words addresses gives callers a simple way to describe precisely where help is needed and allows emergency response crews to get resources straight to the scene.
Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words says “Every month, people all around the world struggle to communicate their location to emergency services. This leads to crucial minutes and sometimes hours lost when trying to save lives. It’s exciting to hear that Mountain Valley Emergency Communications is the first emergency communications center to start using what3words in New Jersey, and we are looking forward to working with them as they embrace new technologies, like ours, to help save lives.”
Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP added “In an emergency, knowing where to send help is of utmost importance. Since emergencies can occur anywhere, if a person experiencing a problem in an obscure location is unable to provide accurate address information to one of our 9-1-1 dispatchers, using what3words technology, MVECC’s emergency communications professionals can enter a unique three word sequence (provided by the 9-1-1 caller) into the application, which in turn displays a precise location for the caller. When conventional emergency location measures are not possible, the what3words application will be an ideal resource for our 9-1-1 professionals and will most certainly save precious time when it comes to locating a person experiencing an emergency in our community.”
The application works by using the pre-downloaded app on a smart device when someone calls 9-1-1, or by having MVECC send the caller a text message with a link to click which gives the caller the assigned words of their location, which can then be provided to the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
MVECC expects internal testing and training to be completed by December 18, 2020, with go-live scheduled shortly thereafter. The what3words app is free and available to download for iOS and Android. Persons experiencing an emergency should always call 9-1-1 first.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC), a regional public safety answering point serving the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn, New Jersey, proudly announces that two members of its Leadership Team have attained the certification and well-respected industry credential of Emergency Number Professional or “ENP”.
MVECC Team Members who passed the ENP examination and earned certification are:
Keely Heyman, ENP – Deputy Director
William Griffin, ENP – Shift Supervisor/Communications Officer III
Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP, added:
“The emergency communications profession is changing at a remarkable pace. Where in years past our professionals relied solely on emergency information obtained during a 9-1-1 call to provide assistance to someone in need, persons needing fire, police, or medical assistance today can communicate with America’s emergency communications centers in a variety of ways. Studying and understanding the operational, administrative, and technical information associated with our profession is mission-critical for any leader in the 9-1-1 space. I am extremely proud of Keely and William, and I congratulate both for earning this prestigious industry credential.”
Deputy Director Heyman and Shift Supervisor Griffin become only the 13th and 14th emergency communications professionals (respectively) to earn ENP certification in the State of New Jersey.
Established by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) in 1992, the ENP certification program is designed to establish a comprehensive body of knowledge for emergency communications professionals, promote a standard of competence, ensure awareness of current issues and developments in the 9-1-1 profession, and encourage professional growth and development among up and coming public safety leaders. To obtain ENP certification, candidates must meet strict eligibility requirements and have the appropriate amount of experience, education, and professional service before being allowed to participate in the certification examination. Once awarded, ENP certification is valid for a period of four years, after which the awardee may participate in the exam again or use a combination of experience, education, and personal service in the profession to generate enough points to re-certify.
Our team members have been hard at work putting together Mountain Valley's entry for the New Providence 2020 Scarecrow Contest.
You can view our spook-tacular "Zombie Dispatcher" in person near the intersection of Springfield Avenue and Academy St, across from the Municipal Building, or by visiting our Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/MVECC911/photos/pcb.199687894866169/199687811532844
Happy Halloween everyone!
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) is proud to announce the promotion of MVECC Communications Officer I David Geraghty to the position of Communications Officer II/Communications Training Officer. David's career with Mountain Valley began in May 2016. In 2018, he became the President of the local FMBA chapter serving the center. David has been involved in public safety for many years, working as an EMT since 2003, and is also a trained firefighter.
Executive Director DeMar added:
"David's public safety background, combined with his call taking and dispatch experience at the center makes him an excellent addition to the training team at Mountain Valley. Our CO II's work closely with the Training & QA Coordinator to develop the call taking and dispatch curriculum new MVECC team members will receive, and serve as the primary point of contact to our newly appointed personnel for "all-things" training. I am pleased to be moving David into this critical role for our center."
David will assume his new CO II/CTO responsibilities on November 1, 2020.
A little late on our entry, however our Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) team members are hard at work assembling our official MVECC scarecrow!
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) is proud to announce the promotion of MVECC Communications Training Officer/Communications Officer II Jaclyn Lemons to the position of Shift Supervisor.
Jaclyn's emergency communications career started in 2009, when she began dispatching for Cranford Police. She transferred to Mountain Valley when the center opened in July 2015 and has been with the MVECC dispatch team ever since. Jaclyn completed undergraduate studies with Kean University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Executive Director DeMar added:
"As Executive Director, it is wonderful to be able to promote team members from within. The Shift Supervisor role is mission critical on so many levels, but most importantly because it directly supports the life-saving efforts of our FIRST first responders. Jaclyn's passion and drive for the profession is readily apparent in her work and I am excited to be elevating her to this vitally important leadership position on our team."
Jaclyn will assume her new Shift Supervisor responsibilities on December 4, 2020.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) is proud to announce the appointment/promotion of MVECC Shift Supervisor/Communications Officer III Sarah B. Nasto to the newly created position of Training & Quality Assurance Coordinator.
Sarah has been with MVECC since its inception. She was hired into the center as one of four shift supervisors after working 10 years with the Summit Fire Department (SFD). Sarah spent her time at SFD working on numerous committees, assisting with the accreditation process, and served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 12 years. Her time spent responding to emergencies gives her an added sense of what first responders need and have come to expect from those working behind the headset at MVECC . During her time at Mountain Valley, Sarah has committed herself to running a seamless shift, updating policies and procedures, providing a wealth of jurisdictional knowledge, and continuing her training. Sarah is looking forward to establishing a training program at MVECC to ensure every resident and responder in the communities we serve receives the highest level of customer service. When she is not working, Sarah spends time with her husband and two children.
Executive Director DeMar added:
"I am extremely proud of Sarah's leadership at MVECC, as well as her commitment to public safety on a personal and professional level. Her promotion into this vital position for Mountain Valley exemplifies her willingness to serve, dedication to team, and an eagerness to see our organization and team members thrive. We're extremely fortunate to be promoting someone who not only has a great deal of operational experience, but has also been with MVECC since the very beginning. Deputy DIrector Heyman and I look forward to working closely with Sarah to develop MVECC's Training and Quality Assurance Program, and to welcoming her to the Senior Leadership Team."
Sarah will assume her new responsibilities on October 19, 2020.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar, MA, CPE, ENP was selected to be a member of a subject matter expert panel discussing Cybersecurity measures for 9-1-1 during the International Association of Chiefs of Police 2020 (IACP2020) Conference.
The IACP2020 Education Session titled "Protecting your 911 System from Cyber Attacks" featured a panel-style discussion with members of the Department of Homeland Security's SAFECOM Initiative, which is managed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). These members, who are also part of SAFECOM's Next Generation 9-1-1 Working Group, spoke on a variety of high-level topics relating to cyber protection and preventative measures in the 9-1-1 and emergency communications space.
Executive Director DeMar offered the following:
"As the hub of public safety with a variety of networks and connected technologies in operation, it is vital for 9-1-1 and emergency communications centers to be practicing excellent cyber-hygiene while protecting critical systems. I was pleased to be a part of IACP2020 with fellow members of our DHS SAFECOM Next Generation 9-1-1 Working Group, discussing important Cybersecurity related subject matter with our law enforcement partners. Thank you IACP for asking us to be a part of your 2020 Educational offering."
Due to COVID-19 which resulted in IACP2020 being a virtual conference, the panel discussion was recorded and will be available to registrants during and following IACP2020.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) reflected this morning on the horrific events which unfolded in our nation nineteen years ago today.
Executive Director DeMar shared the following:
"The reasons we remember this solemn anniversary each year are numerous and personal. For those of us in the public safety community, the tremendous loss of life of our fellow first responders makes the day even more painful to recall. Though these events occurred nineteen years ago, the images of that day remain incredibly vivid in the hearts and minds of many. On behalf of the many 9-1-1 professionals of MVECC who serve the citizens and public safety partners of our community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to those still grieving the loss of a loved one that fateful day. We will never forget."
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) is proud to announce a partnership with "The Public Safety Group" to provide monthly in-service, online, and virtual in-person training to MVECC Team Members.
Incorporated in 1994, The Public Safety Group (TPSG) specializes in providing emergency communications and dispatcher focused training to public safety professionals nationwide. To meet the needs of MVECC and its public safety professionals, TPSG's initial offering will include a monthly in-service training program ("When Seconds Count"), as well as access to TPSG's "Training on Demand" program. Both of these programs are designed to supplement and enhance the training program currently in place at MVECC.
From The Public Safety Group President and Founder Tony Harrison:
"The Public Safety Group is honored to be working with Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center in providing them with world class training. With a focus on the training of 9-1-1 professionals, we're pleased to be a part of Mountain Valley's training program, and to helping the center deliver the highest level of service to the community they serve."
Executive Director DeMar stated:
"Training is vital to every organization. Like many organization's however, MVECC has had to adapt to a changing landscape as it pertains to in-service training and conventional classroom instruction, in response to COVID-19. By partnering with The Public Safety Group, MVECC is able to offer online, on-demand, and virtual in-person instruction to our team members, with content tailored specifically to emergency communications professionals. Having Tony's company working with us as we continue to develop a top-notch training and quality assurance program is a progressive and forward-thinking step in the right direction for the entire Mountain Valley team."
The Public Safety Group Program is expected to begin late September/early October 2020.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) announces the creation of the Mountain Valley Public Safety Communications Workgroup.
Consisting of operational team members from MVECC and the public safety partner agencies it serves, the workgroup will meet periodically with an emphasis on discussing and addressing technology-based operational gaps and improving communications interoperability system-wide. The workgroup will feature guest speakers, participant driven presentations, and discussions on new and evolving technologies. New business and new ideas for improving the public safety communications service offering will be encouraged, as will input from a variety of operational personnel, in the interest of promoting idea-sharing from all levels of public safety.
Executive Director DeMar added:
"Communication and collaboration is vital in any organization. As the hub of public safety in the communities we serve, it is important for MVECC's staff to work closely with our public safety partners to ensure interoperable policies and practices are current and effective. In addition, as technology evolves and new public safety solutions emerge, this work group will be instrumental in bridging the gap between awareness and implementation."
Deputy Director Heyman shared the following:
"I am extremely happy to be taking part in a workgroup which allows a collaborative effort from all the agencies we serve. While there are goals important to the organization administratively, work in this area can cast a shadow on the needs of the operational side. I am excited to allow the voices of those who serve in the field of public safety a forum to express their objectives and goals and I am hopeful our efforts in this workgroup will greatly improve our relationships throughout. Imagine what these joint efforts will do for the communities we serve?"
The first workgroup meeting will occur in late September.
Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center (MVECC) announced the addition of Jurisdiction View, a new data and situational awareness tool to access critical location and additional data during an emergency. MVECC was one of the first agencies nationwide to test and implement this new tool, which is now available to 9-1-1 centers nationwide through RapidSOS’s free software application RapidSOS Portal.
Information available through RapidSOS Portal includes accurate, real time caller location for 9-1-1 calls from iPhones (iOS 12+) and Android phones (4.0+), as well as situational and incident-specific information from connected vehicles, digital health devices, connected buildings, and mobile applications such as Uber. This information is immediately displayed on a satellite map of MVECC’s jurisdiction, providing enhanced situational awareness for 9-1-1 telecommunicators and allowing for better and faster allocation of resources when it matters most.
MVECC Executive Director D. Jeremy DeMar shared the following:
“The emergency communications profession is one of constant technological change. Prompt and accurate handling of 9-1-1 calls requires a stable and scalable call processing platform as well as support from a variety of third-party vendors and technical application providers. RapidSOS, a leader and innovator in the 9-1-1 space, created ‘jurisdiction view’ to provide critical call-related data to MVECC’s 9-1-1 professionals in real-time, helping us provide a greater level of service to the community and public safety partners we serve.”
Senior Director of Public Safety at RapidSOS Karin Marquez added:
“MVECC is leading the way in adopting new technology to improve emergency response. We’re proud to work alongside MVECC as they help us learn, develop, and iterate on new technology to provide the most informed emergency response possible.”
Agencies who don’t yet have access to RapidSOS should claim their free account today at www.rapidsosportal.com.
Early Tuesday afternoon (8/4/20), a rapidly moving Tropical Storm arrived in Northern New Jersey after making landfall in North Carolina as a hurricane.
"Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday brought rain, flooding and the most dangerous wind gusts since Superstorm Sandy to New Jersey, destroying property and leaving millions in the Atlantic region without power as the pandemic raged on." (northjersey.com, 8/5/20) The storm system carried with it sustained winds of 30-35 miles per hour with gusts of 65-75 miles per hour. Though fast-moving, the storm's wind speeds still had a catastrophic effect on infrastructure and property.
Executive Director DeMar provided the following:
"MVECC's Leadership Team closely monitored the progress of Tropical Storm Isaias once the projected path of the storm threatened the northeast. As is the case with any major weather event where advanced warning is possible, MVECC began upstaffing our shifts, in anticipation of increased emergency call volume and public safety need. Those preparations proved invaluable, as our single day call volume was more than five times our daily average, with the majority of the calls arriving in a two to three hour period during the height of the storm. Our team members pulled together, fielding emergency phone calls as quickly and accurately as possible non-stop for most of the afternoon, and did so while serving the needs of our public safety partners. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the work of our 9-1-1 professionals during this extreme weather event."
Today, three days after the storm, MVECC's 9-1-1 professionals continue to work with local officials and our public safety partners to help bring our communities back online.
On July 28, 2015, Mountain Valley Emergency Communications opened its doors for the first time and began providing critical emergency communications services to the communities of New Providence, Summit, and Millburn. Today marks five years in operation for the center.
Executive Director DeMar shared the following:
"While I have only been with MVECC a short time, I am thrilled to be able to congratulate our team members, many of whom have been with Mountain Valley since it opened. Since the beginning, Mountain Valley has been the vital link between the residents and businesses of our community and our public safety partners. The dedication and pride of our team members is evident every time a 9-1-1 call is picked up and every time a public safety partner is dispatched. I am proud to be a part of this wonderful team of committed public safety professionals."
In the communities of New Providence and Summit, residents wanting to park a vehicle in the street overnight have been required to call Mountain Valley Emergency Communications to provide vehicle make, model, and color information to our 9-1-1 professionals. This action is required to comply with established ordinances prohibiting the parking of vehicles overnight on local streets without prior approval.
To keep our 9-1-1 professionals available to answer calls for true emergencies, Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center, in cooperation with Summit Police Department and New Providence Police Department, has partnered with Frontline Public Safety Solutions to provide an online overnight parking reporting tool to the residents of New Providence and Summit. Once implemented, this solution will allow residents to log in to a community specific website to provide overnight parked vehicle information to local law enforcement officials.
New Providence Chief of Police Theresa Gazaway stated:
"New Providence Police Department is always looking to find ways to improve our efficiency and streamline operations. Frontline will allow residents to self-report situations such as overnight parking and provide citizens with the ability to make requests for other police services such as vacant property checks. Frontline will provide our officers with accurate, up to date information using a simple, intuitive platform."
Summit Chief of Police Andrew Bartolotti added:
" The Summit Police Department is excited to partner with Frontline Public Safety Solutions and the Mountain Valley Emergency Communications Center in providing residents and visitors with an efficient and convenient means of obtaining authorization for overnight parking.
The implementation of this technology streamlines the registration process for the public and frees up essential resources to handle emergency calls for service."
Executive Director DeMar shared the following:
"For someone experiencing an emergency, every second counts. By automating the entry of overnight parked vehicle information, our 9-1-1 professionals remain available to answer calls for true emergencies being reported by residents and businesses of Summit and New Providence. This partnership with Frontline Public Safety Solutions is a necessary and progressive move on the part of Mountain Valley Emergency Communications, New Providence Police, and Summit Police to prioritize emergency reporting and funnel non-emergency issues away from our 9-1-1 team."
The new Frontline overnight parking reporting system is expected to be online and available soon.
Following a unanimous vote of confidence from the MVECC Executive Board, Deputy Director Heyman and Executive Director DeMar announced the creation of a full-time Training & Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Coordinator position for MVECC.
Reporting to the Deputy Director, the Training & Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Coordinator will be responsible for designing and managing a comprehensive training and quality assurance program for the center.
Executive Director DeMar expressed his appreciation of the Executive Board's decision and spoke about the critical nature of the Training/QA-QI role:
"I am extremely appreciative of the EB's decision which approved the creation of this critical position for Mountain Valley. Ongoing training and quality assurance is vital in the emergency communications space, and both programs are necessary to ensure a consistent service delivery model to our citizens and public safety partners. The Deputy Director and I look forward to welcoming our successful appointee and to working closely with him/her on the development of this program for the center."
Deputy Director Heyman added:
"Training is such a vital component in the 9-1-1 system. As the world changes and technology advances so do the demands on public safety. Having this position approved by our EB shows their continuing support for our center and the recognition that the 9-1-1 center is a priority. This position will allow us to continue to provide a high standard and consistent level of service to our first responders and the communities we serve. The Director and I look forward to the selection process and appointment of this newest team member."
The Training & Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Coordinator position was announced yesterday and is expected to be appointed in the Fall, with an approximate start date of October 1, 2020.