|Three employees of Kingsport Central Dispatch have recently received State and National recognition for their exemplary performance as 9-1-1 professionals. The Kingsport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to highlight their achievements, thank them for their service, and congratulate them on a job well done.
On September 20, 2016 Nancy Fender, Communications Dispatch Supervisor, was named “Dispatch Supervisor of the Year” by the Tennessee Emergency Numbers Association (TENA) at their annual conference held in Chattanooga, TN. Employed by Kingsport Central Dispatch since 1988, she has also been certified by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) as an Emergency Number Professional (ENP) since 2013.
In addition to Ms. Fender, two other employees of Kingsport Central Dispatch have recently achieved their ENP Certification. Catherine Matt, Communications Specialist, and Christy Swiney, Communications Shift Leader, both achieved their ENP Certification in August 2016. Ms. Matt has been employed by Kingsport Central Dispatch since 2000 and Swiney since 2005.
In order to be certified as an ENP, applicants must first meet eligibility requirements that include a combination of experience, education, and professional development in the 9-1-1 field. Candidates then must pass a rigorous examination that demonstrates a mastery of the comprehensive knowledge base required of emergency number program management.
“By achieving this certification, these ladies have distinguished themselves as leaders within the 9-1-1 field and displayed their commitment to the citizens of the Kingsport Emergency Communications District and to their chosen profession,” said Lieutenant Steve Hammonds, Executive Director of Kingsport 9-1-1.
The ENP program was established by NENA in 1994 as a way to establish a benchmark of performance for professionals in the 9-1-1 field. There are currently 1,121 ENPs in the United States, but only 47 in the State of Tennessee, 3 of whom are employed by Kingsport Central Dispatch.
Kingsport Central Dispatch moved into the new 7,500 square foot, state-of-the-art, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center in Downtown Kingsport in October 2015. Central Dispatch had previously been housed in a cramped 1,000 square foot space on the second floor of the Kingsport Justice Center since 1989. Prior to that, Central Dispatch operated out of the basement of the Civic Auditorium.
Kingsport Central Dispatch personnel include the 9-1-1 Director, a Communications Supervisor, a Technical Services Coordinator, 4 Shift Leaders, and more than a dozen Communications Specialists. Collectively, the employees of Kingsport Central Dispatch handle roughly a quarter of a million phone calls each year, nearly 50,000 of which are emergency calls to 9-1-1.
Over the past 20 years, Kingsport Central Dispatch has only increased the number of Communications Specialists from 14 to 16. Meanwhile, the number of citizens calls for Police, Fire, and E.M.S. service and the population, square miles, and road miles of the City of Kingsport have all increased exponentially. This exemplifies true dedication to public safety by continuing to provide excellent 9-1-1 service in the face of significantly increased work volume.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY NUMBER ASSOCIATION: NENA serves its members and the greater public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. With more than 10,000 members in 48 chapters across the United States and around the globe, NENA promotes the implementation and awareness of 9-1-1, as well as international three-digit emergency communications systems.