I just came back from the APCO Woman’s Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. While at the event, I had the opportunity to meet a wide cadre of women public safety communications professionals and hear about their experiences. These women, from across the country and Canada, demonstrate what is right with our country. Many of these women run important 9-1-1 and dispatch operations—the operations that directly support our country in responding to the worst emergencies. For example, one of the women I had the opportunity to meet works in the 9-1-1 center in Tucson, Arizona, where the recent shootings of 18 innocent people occurred at an event in a shopping center with Congresswoman Giffords. The experiences of this woman and the 9-1-1 operations center she works out of during this is a testament to public safety communications professionals throughout the country. The public safety communications professionals at this 9-1-1 center were able to respond to the emergency in an effective manner; even when the call volume was exponentially higher then what they normally face on Saturday morning. Because of their ability to perform effectively, emergency personnel were quickly and efficiently deployed to the scene.
This was just one experience that was shared with me at the Conference. Hearing their experiences provided many examples of why I am proud to be able to work at the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau where we all work to support the important goal of ensuring public safety and homeland security by advancing state-of-the-art communications that are accessible, reliable, resilient and secure, in coordination with public and private partners.