Mark J. Fletcher, ENP
Effecting Change through Recognition and Training
My GOAL IS TO CHANGE THE COMMON THINKING AND PROMOTE OUR BEST RESOURCE, OUR CALL TAKER . . .
Public Safety Telecommunicators are often like swimmers trying to keep their heads above water during a rising tide. Despite being their only hope for survival, this is difficult, especially with marginal training, which is too often self-taught.
However, it is their job, and they continue to give it their all, using any resources at hand. From afar, onlookers question their better judgment for being there in the first place. But the more relevant question is, “Why were they never trained for this in the first place?”
Just over 40 years ago, society began pushing through its digital boundaries with online services and the build-out of the Internet – allowing the public to reach out and connect with the rest of the world. But, at the same time, Public Safety held its ground on technology, promoting terms like Resiliency, Reliability, and Hardened Facilities as reasons to stay put. Despite the emergence of modern commercial technology, Public Safety remained where it was comfortable because what was there “still worked.”
The current Digital Divide is a self-inflicted wound by two disparate industries with contrasting missions: One to Protect and Serve and the other to Protect and Profit. To survive our present migration to NG911, both the public safety industry and our public safety industry partners must pitch in and mend that gap, reviving our public safety technology and telecommunications staff. An efficient investment in equipment can accomplish this, but only by efficiently training our labor pool as well. This will require proper education and training, in addition to salary and benefit adjustments where needed, so that we remain competitive in the skilled worker marketplace. Most of all, employee wellness programs must be implemented to adequately address the many deep-rooted issues that we all know exist but are too often ashamed or afraid to acknowledge.
I firmly believe that any Next Generation system or process implemented without a well-trained and mentally healthy staff to facilitate its operation is destined to fail long before its ability to operate is ever realized. The public internet has evolved over the last 40+ years and now facilitates our connected world. Public Safety can utilize the lessons learned by commercial networks extending these communication services to meet citizens and establish a common immersive and interactive multimedia environment.
With my long history of Public Safety involvement over the past 45 years, from my early days as a Dispatcher for a multi-agency center and a Special Officer in a rural New Jersey community, through my extended career on the technology side, to my current role at an NG9-1-1 solution provider, I grew up during our transitional stages, understanding both the operational and the technology challenges on each side. It is that knowledge and experience that makes me the right choice to represent our Northern Region in its mission to deliver the Next Generation of
9-1-1 services to our constituents and obtain the appropriate recognition for our first-first responders that empower that system, answering the call 240 million times a year, all day, every day.I sincerely thank you for participating in this critical vote as we establish the future path and direction for Next Generation Services in some of our nation’s largest cities.
Without your dedication and participation, our industry cannot exist because your input, guidance, and direction are critical to delivering the future effective Next Generation 911 Services we’ll require.
I’m asking for your trust in me to represent and deliver your best interests as your servant representative in the position of the NENA Northeast Regional Director. Thank you for your time, thank you for your trust, and thank you, 9-1-1.
Mark J. Fletcher, ENP
NENA Northeast Region Director
NENA ENP Since 2008
Industry Board Positions
NENA Institute Board
RapidSOS Tech Advisory Board
Kari Hunt Foundation
Denise Amber Lee Foundation
FCC FACA Committees
Emergency Access Advisory Committee (2 terms)
DAC – Disability Advisory Committee (2 Terms)
TFOPA – Task Force for Optimized PSAP Architecture (2 Terms)
911 Fee Diversion Strike Force
NENA Institue Board (4th Consecutive Term)
Get in touch
Fletch is always available for side collaborations and talks to industry leaders and analysts worldwide. If you want to discuss technology, design, futures, podcasting, or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out.