FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPCD Call Takers Deployed as Part of LA-TERT to Assist
Virgin Islands Emergency Communications Center After COVID-19 Impacts on Staff
NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 10, 2021) – OPCD call takers and dispatchers were deployed as part of the Louisiana Telecommunications Emergency Response Team (LA-TERT ) from New Orleans to Christiansted, Virgin Islands to assist the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) with emergency communications services due to impacts of COVID-19.
To view the press conference of the announcement, click here.
VITEMA officials state that staff at the Christiansted, VI, 911 center have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and have requested 24-hour operations staffing and services for a deployment of 14 days, with a possible extension to 30 days.
This will be the second deployment of LA-TERT to assist with emergency communications during an emergency event since its inception.
“I can’t express how proud I am of the staff at OPCD and LA-TERT as a whole for once again answering the call to help those in need.” stated OPCD Executive Director and LA-TERT State Coordinator, Tyrell Morris. “This will be the second deployment of LA-TERT, providing assistance to our fellow Heroes Under the Headset, and through these two deployments we are already seeing the value provided by the coordinated efforts of emergency communications centers across the state. Seeing all of this hard work culminate into real opportunities to come together to help those who spend their lives helping others is truly something special.”
The four OPCD emergency communications specialists who are part of the LA-TERT team being deployed depart for the Virgin Islands from New Orleans early Thursday morning. The scheduled deployment will be for a duration of 14 days, with a possible extension to 30 days.
During deployment, the LA-TERT team will fulfill a mission to provide emergency communications support to ensure 9-1-1 system integrity and continuity of operations for the Christiansted, VI, 911 Center. The team will include resources for emergency communications call taking, dispatching, technology and incident management.
The OPCD call takers who will be part of the deployed LA-TERT team include:
- Michelle Vigne – Orleans Parish Communication District
- Brandi Henry – Orleans Parish Communication District
- Darius Brown – Orleans Parish Communication District
- Amanda Darensbourg – Orleans Parish Communication District
About National Telecommunication Emergency Response Taskforce (www.njti-tert.org)
NJTI, LLC is a partnership between APCO and NENA dedicated to the promotion of Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) programs that satisfy deployable status criteria for telcommunicator mutual aid response during disasters.
The NJTI, along with the NENA Contingency Planning Committee, developed the content for the American National Standard, APCO/NENA ANS 1.105.2-2015 Standard for Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT). The NJTI continues it work to help states develop state program.
Learn about TERT, its history, how to develop a program in your state, deployment stories and much more. For more information, please contact [email protected]
About the Orleans Parish Communication District (www.OPCDLA.gov)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the PSAP for all emergency communications via 9-1-1, and non-emergency communications via 3-1-1, within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 150 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
The Mission of OPCD is to get the Right People to the Right Place at the Right Time, Better than Anybody Else in the World.
Marcus W. Creel, MS
OPCD Public Engagement Manager