KPD e-News Release: Communications Specialists of Kingsport 9-1-1 Honored During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Communications Specialists of Kingsport 9-1-1 Honored During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
DATE: April 10, 2017
The Communications Specialists, also known as Dispatchers, of the Kingsport Emergency Communications District, are being honored this week, April 9 through 15, 2017, as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW). Communications Specialists are the calm, yet highly trained, voice on the phone whenever a citizen calls 9-1-1 to report an emergency.

Every year during the second week of April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. This week-long event was originally created in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California. Her goal was to set aside a time to celebrate and thank these individuals who dedicate their lives to serving the public, and make people aware of their hard work and dedication.

The Communications Specialists of Kingsport Central Dispatch process roughly a quarter of a million telephone calls annually. Approximately twenty percent (50,000) of these calls are emergency calls to 9-1-1. Although a division of the Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Central Dispatch also provides services for the Kingsport Fire Department, Sullivan County E.M.S., Kingsport Life Saving Crew, and other city departments and functions.

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.

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.

Kingsport Central Dispatch personnel serve under the supervision of the 9-1-1 Director, Lieutenant Steve Hammonds, and include a Communications Supervisor, a Technical Services Coordinator, 4 Shift Leaders, and more than a dozen Communications Specialists, all of whom are Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certified. The Kingsport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to all of the employees of Kingsport 9-1-1 and congratulate them on a job well done.

Last year, Nancy Fender, Communications Dispatch Supervisor, was named “Dispatch Supervisor of the Year” by the Tennessee Emergency Number Association (TENA) at their annual conference held in Chattanooga, TN. She has also been certified by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) as an Emergency Number Professional (ENP) since 2013. The ENP program was established in 1994 as a way to establish a benchmark of performance for professionals in the 9-1-1 field.

In addition to Ms. Fender, three other employees of Kingsport Central Dispatch have recently achieved their ENP Certification. These additional certified Emergency Number Professionals include Richie Hite, Technical Services Coordinator, Christy Swiney, Communications Shift Leader, and Catherine Matt, Communications Specialist.

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.

For additional information regarding Kingsport Central Dispatch, please visit the following links:

For additional information regarding National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week or the National and Tennessee Emergency Number Associations, please visit the following links:

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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