Crisis communications program partners with national emergency service group

Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Emerging Media

December 19, 2008

Ball State University has formed a working relationship with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), one of the nation's leading emergency service associations, to improve 9-1-1 communications.
 
The university's Advanced Crisis Communication Training program (ACCT) is working under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to bolster local-level preparedness for both natural and manmade disasters across the nation.
 
Under its fiscal year 2007 Competitive Training Grant program, FEMA awarded the university $2.5 million for the project, creating innovative on-site and online training courses for supervisors in 9-1-1 call centers nationwide. To effectively address their needs, ACCT first is conducting research, including a survey of NENA membership.
 
"We are excited to partner with NENA on this project," said Robert "Pritch" Pritchard, associate professor of journalism and ACCT's lead principal investigator. "The team is dedicated to delivering training that helps advance the 9-1-1 emergency communications profession, and this partnership is key to helping us achieve that goal."
 
As a leading voice in the public safety arena throughout North America, NENA welcomes its partnership with Ball State, said Brian Fontes, NENA's chief executive officer.
 
"NENA has always prided itself on offering industry-best education to our members and the broader emergency services community," Fontes said. "We look forward to working with Ball State, a national leader in emerging media, to provide this critical training to 9-1-1 center managers coast to coast"
 
As part of the university's recently announced $17.7 million Emerging Media Initiative (EMI), the Ball State team is developing two online and two on-site courses focusing on advanced crisis communications training for 9-1-1 supervisors, public information officers, incident commanders and agency decision-makers. 
 
About ACCT
The Advanced Crisis Communication Training (ACCT) program at Ball State University is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2007-GT-T7-K007, administered by the DHS-FEMA's Training and Exercise Integration Division. Points of view or opinions in this program are those of the author(s) and do not represent the position or policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
 
About NENA
NENA, the Voice of 9-1-1, promotes implementation and awareness of 9-1-1as North America's universal emergency number. NENA is the leading professional nonprofit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. NENA serves its nearly 7,000 members in 48 chapters across the United States, Canada and Mexico through policy advocacy, establishment of technical and operational standards, certification programs and a broad spectrum of educational offerings. Find out more at www.nena.org.

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