In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

Georgia telecommunicator Danielle Harvey has won Smart911′s Smart Telecommunicator Award for her leadership, performance, compassion for callers, ability to inspire co-workers and overall contributions to her PSAP. We are happy that her success has been supported by an InterAct system, and extend our congratulations to her on her award!

Danielle Harvey of DeKalb County E-911 Communications, located in Tucker, was named the national winner for her exemplary work as a Certified Training Officer and outstanding job performance. Operator Harvey trains new dispatchers, teaching them response strategies and critical thinking. One of Harvey’s freshly trained dispatchers was just four hours into her first day on the job when the dispatcher answered a 9-1-1 call requesting medical assistance for her own father. Due to the high level of training provided by Harvey, the operator remained calm, professional and steadfast during the call. Operator Harvey is also credited with diligently assisting field units in safely locating a missing elderly woman. Since Harvey began work as a telecommunicator in 2007, she has received numerous accolades and recognition for her performance, teamwork and efforts on behalf of local charitable organizations.

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In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

An Arizona dispatcher helped a father perform CPR on his infant son who was choking on a toy, saving his life.

One Casa Grande couple experienced a close call for a Casa Grande mom and dad after their infant son stopped breathing.

But a 911 dispatcher gave them the advice they needed over the phone to save his life.

Jayden Amaro is a healthy, hungry 9-month-old little boy. But he gave his parents quite a scare when he was playing with a toy last month.

“I left to go to the bathroom about a minute and a half at most, and I came back and the toy was lodged under his throat and he was suspended over it,” said his father, Mario Amaro. Jayden wasn’t breathing, so Amaro called 911.

“Before that I had no idea how to do CPR,” Amaro said. The dispatcher, Chris Stringfellow, gave the father instructions over the phone.

Paramedics arrived within five minutes and resumed CPR, and the boy’s pulse came back.

“It was pretty scary, I don’t ever want to relive that again,” said Jayden’s mother, Tosha Reed.

“Some calls are horrible, we hate them,” Stringfellow said.

The call impacted so many lives that the Southwest Ambulance paramedics who responded wanted to check in on the little guy.

“To actually have him here and happy and smiling in the arms of his mom is an overwhelming emotion,” said paramedic Jon Clark.

While Amaro and his family call Stringfellow a hero, he said it’s always a team effort.

“Everybody does their job, it’s what we’re here for,” Stringfellow said.

“Thank you, because I don’t know what I would’ve done,” Amaro said.

The parents have now completed a CPR course.

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In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

An Ohio dispatcher walked a father through delivering his own child:

A new father in Cleves will remember his first call to 911 for the rest of his life, after a dispatcher walked him through a special moment.

One of the toughest and most rewarding nights of his life, Ryan Braun called when his wife’s water broke.

The couple had no idea they were pregnant.

Braun’s cry for help was answered by Hamilton County 911 dispatcher Jamie Mason.

“A lot of times callers just don’t know what to do,” Mason said.

“My wife is in labor,” Braun told Mason over the phone.

Four minutes into the call, the baby was ready to meet his new parents. You can listen to parts of the call in the video player above.

“It’s a boy!” Braun said.

Braun’s joy, fear and adrenaline wiped away much of what he remembers from his call to Mason — and delivering his new baby boy.

“Bits and pieces. I remember the baby in my arms, that’s about all I remember,” Braun said.

Mason has seven kids of her own, and visited the Braun family at Good Samaritan Hospital Wednesday. She’s pleased with Braun’s bravery.

“He did amazing,” she said. “He did absolutely amazing.”

Braun is thankful he had Mason’s help.

“Having her help me calmed me down, and that’s the best word for it,” Braun said. “It was calming. It was soothing to have somebody there to walk me through it.”

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In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

Dispatchers from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania received awards for their outstanding service to the community.

Tom Pottiger talked a woman trapped in a Market Street house fire in Marchwho was gasping for air into a safe spot to wait for firefighters to arrive.

Emily Fagan helped a woman do the Heimlich maneuver, and someone else do CPR in February.

Brandon Freistat got help for a woman trapped in an overturned car on the Pa. Turnpike last November.

And Kelly Cunningham helped deliver a baby girl over a 911 call in January.

All received special awards from Dauphin County commissioners Wednesday, as they proclaimed this National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, and April county government month.

Cunningham received the “stork” pin, while the other three received livesaver awards.

“No individuals do more for our community than they do,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “They get the calls when people are having the worst possible moments in their life,” he said, and handle them with composure, compassion and professionalism. “They are the calm, competent and reassuring voice at the other end of each call,” Pries said.

Pottiger, who began working as a dispatcher in 1989, is also Halifax fire chief. All of those receiving awards are involved in emergency service in some way outside their 911 jobs.

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In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

John Hill, a Virginia dispatcher, talked a 911 caller through performing CPR on her husband and saving his life.

As they were getting ready to go to sleep earlier than normal, Phil Baker was already in bed reading a book, while Cheryl Baker was in another room. After she heard a strange sound coming from their bedroom, her instincts told her go back and see what the noise was.

When she returned to their bedroom, she found her husband partially slumped down between their bed and a night stand after suffering an apparent heart attack.

Cheryl Baker called 911, and on the receiving end was dispatcher John Hill. He talked her through conducting CPR on her husband until paramedics arrived. Her actions, along with Hill’s, helped save her husband’s life.

Phil and Cheryl Baker made a special appearance at the Blount County E911 Communications Center Monday afternoon during an awards ceremony and luncheon, where dispatchers were being honored for their service.

Hill received a special Certificate of Commendation for his actions with the couple, and they appeared in person to meet Hill and express their gratitude for helping save Phil Baker’s life.

“He was just wonderful in the way he responded,” Cheryl Baker said, referring to Hill. “I basically started talking to him and doing CPR, and got him back to breathing before the EMTs arrived.”

Monday was also an extra special day for Phil Baker, as he also completed cardiac rehabilitation. “The first thing I remember is going out in the cold,” Phil Baker said, reflecting on the incident. “I can remember that’s what really woke me up, and I could hear the voices talking about what they were going to do. We wanted to make sure we came here and thank (dispatchers) personally for the work they do. Hardly anybody knows where this place is, who’s involved and who does it.”

“A lot of people don’t remember unless you’re older like us that we didn’t always have 911,” Cheryl Baker added.

Hill said that knowing he helped save a life made him appreciate and love his job even more.

“So many times we take calls and people go to the hospital and we never hear anything else and what happens next,” Hill said. “To know I made a difference in this one account makes everything you do here worthwhile.”

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In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we will be sharing an article each day to highlight and appreciate the contributions of public safety dispatchers.

A San Francisco dispatcher, Matthew Roybal, was honored for his work coordinating the emergency response during the Asiana Flight 214 plane crash last year.

Breed said Roybal helps keep people safe from the stressful environment of the communications center where 911 calls come in and “reassures people on their worst days.”

She lauded him for his work on July 6, 2013 when Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport.

“The dispatch center was inundated,” Breed said. “(Roybal) had to determine what information was essential.”

Matthew coordinated all fire and medical units that were sent from San Francisco to SFO that day.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the fire department “had our hands full that day” and that Roybal was critical in dispatching responders.

She said dispatchers are “the unsung heroes” in the city.

“If they don’t do their jobs efficiently and effectively, we can’t do ours,” she said, referring to the Fire Department.

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Technology issues don’t typically stop cloud implementations. More often than not, it’s the people. Office politics, unrealistic expectations, and general stupidity are the common culprits that hinder cloud computing use at many enterprises.

The vocal opponents to cloud computing we heard in 2008 are mostly quiet in 2014. However, they are still lurking. Today, they use closed-door conversations to call the cloud into question, often for the wrong reasons. By doing so, they create a toxic culture around the use of cloud computing — or any new technologies that may prove to be innovative and helpful but threaten the status quo.

Today, cloud computing has real momentum. Projects are beginning to ramp up, despite opposition around the use of public cloud resources. However, if a business pushes cloud computing onto an IT culture that simply won’t have it, the project becomes so difficult that it is likely to fail.

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On May 1, 2010, a terrorist attack in New York City’s Times Square was thwarted when street vendors noticed smoke coming from a vehicle in which a homemade bomb had failed to explode. Imagine if those street vendors could have used their cellphones to send pictures or video of the vehicle and its license plate to a 911 call center. What if the 911 center could then push that data to first responders and police to get the location from GIS and buildings visual in the photos?

“They could really capture the dynamics of the event,” said Brian Fontes, executive director of theNational Emergency Number Association (NENA). “That is what I call an information-rich 911 call, which will be supported in a next-generation 911 system.”

What Is Next-Generation 911?

Fifty-eight percent of Americans own smartphones and people now routinely send text messages, photos and videos from their mobile devices. And although 75 percent of all calls to 911 are wireless, most 911 centers today are still tethered to the voice-centered world of communications of the last century and are unable to receive text or photos.

The existing 911 system faces difficulties in supporting text or multimedia messaging, according to NENA, and it lacks the capability to interconnect with other systems and databases such as building plans and electronic medical records.

The very structure of the current 911 system is rapidly going out of date. “It is analog network-based,” said Roger Hixson, technical issues director for NENA. “You can’t find people in the phone companies knowledgeable about the old technology anymore. We have to evolve to survive.”

There is a movement under way to move to a next-generation 911 (NG911) system based on modern Internet protocol-based networks that take advantage of capabilities such as text and video messaging. And NENA has done years of work on developing the i3 architecture standard that vendors will follow.

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What’s the best way to learn more about cloud computing?  Turn to the cloud.

IBM’s Gary Zeien describes how, in nicely succinct terms, one can use the cloud to learn more about the cloud.

Zeien, principal cloud solutioning architect in the IBM GTS Global Cloud team, provides a handy guide to what cloud services will guide one’s efforts to better understand what is involved in enterprise cloud computing.

Resource 1: Google it. (Or Bing it):  Everything you need to know — from cloud server acquisition to scripting languages to frameworks to databases — can be found online.

Resource 2: Check out YouTube:  There are many helpful tutorial videos available on various programming, integration and architectural techniques out there.

Resource 3: Online learning venues: Zeien calls out KahnAcademyand as great places to learn new languages that form the foundations of the cloud world.

Along with Zeien’s call-outs, there are a wealth of additional resources to help get up to speed on cloud computing — using the cloud, of course. For a widely accepted description and definition of cloud computing, check out the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) guides on cloud computing.

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Backing up and storing your files and other content to the cloud, where they can be accessed anywhere at any time, has been a huge catalyst in the technology market as of late. Long gone are the worries of toting around fragile CD-ROMs or forgetting to bring your thumb drive with you.

The cloud is not just sparking innovation at a personal and/or corporate level, as businesses everywhere are utilizing cloud services. The realm of education is also taking advantage of this effective and efficient space-saving technology. Cloud computing’s safe, stable and extremely easy to use technology has spread throughout educational institutions of all sizes and categories. In turn, students and educators have been able to reap the benefits of cloud computing.

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