Director's Corner - Drum

We did it! We made it through yet another year of ups and downs. 2017 had its fair share of the same old same old but, it also challenged us with some new adventures.

The year opened with the final six-month push for all PSAPs across the state to implement their backup plans to help insure every 911 call is answered no matter the situation. These plans ranged anywhere from a fully functioning backup PSAP to a simple agreement between two smaller ones that allowed the effected PSAP to roll their 911 calls to the other. Catawba County’s is a middle of the road plan. The plan included us collaborating with the Hickory police department’s 911 center and adding additional workstations for capacity. By June 30, Catawba County 911’s backup plan had met the minimal requirements set forth by the legislature.

As summer approached it was time to throw out the old and bring on the new and on August 15, Catawba County moved into our new state of the art 911 center. For this to be possible, it took many of the Telecommunicators going above and beyond their normal duties. With everyone’s help we were able to staff three 911 centers simultaneously. When nine o’clock rolled around it was time to make the switch and to say it went without a hitch would be an understatement. To our knowledge, not a single phone call was dropped nor a single radio transmission was missed.

Fall decided to make its own mark this year and brought storms that would put our expanded capacity to the test. One particular storm in late October was a line of tornados that would bring twelve times the normal call volume to the center. The Telecommunicators on shift and those that came in just to help out made it possible for us to still provide a high level of service to our first responders and citizen callers. Before exiting, fall had one more show to put on, an early snowfall to the region. The snowfall would prove once again to be an event that would almost double the normal call volume of the center and as with any other event the Telecommunicators were there to help ensure everyone’s safety.

The holidays are always a difficult time for the Telecommunicators and their families. In most cases Christmas is not celebrated on December 25th rather the day before, the weekend before or even days later. Without the dedication and sacrifices made by both the Telecommunicators and their families throughout the year our nation’s first, first responders would not exist. Thank you to each of you for what you do, especially to Telecommunicators of Catawba County.

Brian Drum
911 Communications Manager
Catawba County