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Deanna Tennyson
of the Houston Emergency Center
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Greater Harris County
9-1-1 Emergency Network Receives national Honor for 9-1-1 Program
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2010 Telecommunicator of the Year Honorees
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Owners of Multiline Phone Systems Required to Configure
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Media Coverage
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Accidental 9-1-1 calls causing problems for La Porte police department ...
Kingwood News - April is National 911 Education Month. Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Network (GHC 9-1-1) announces that throughout the month of April, ...
Cypresstimes - HOUSTON TX April is National 911 Education MonthGreater Harris County 911 Emergency NetworkGHC 911 announces that throughout the month of April movie goers ...
Don't worry if you hear beeps, it's only a test By Zain Shauk HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Concerns Mount Over Texting, News Story on KPRC
E911 Honor Awards, News Story on KTRK
Harris County area boy recognized for calling 9-1-1 By Matt Woolbright HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Help Us Help You: News story on AM 740 KTRH NEWS Radio
Callers have 'Hang-Ups' with 911 and that coud be costing LIVES! by Ron Trevino/11News KHOU

Telecommunicator of the Year Winner:
Keturah Nelms

Harris County Sheriff’s Office

The Commission on State Emergency Communications recognized Keturah Nelms for exceptional handling of a 9-1-1 call while working as a Telecommunicator for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The hard reality of being a 9-1-1 call taker is that we are not invincible; we cannot always save a life. But that doesn’t mean that we are not heroes. A hero is defined as someone with exceptional courage and strength despite all odds. Courage and strength are definitely what was exhibited by Communications Officer Keturah Nelms on September 24, 2010. Keturah was working the 9-1-1 phones when she received a desperate 9-1-1 call from a woman reporting she was trapped inside of her apartment and it was on fire.

The woman was calling from her cell phone, standing on her apartment balcony to her 3rd-floor apartment. Keturah attempted to calm the frightened woman so that she could obtain a precise location to send fire trucks. Per call handling protocols, Keturah used her 9-1-1 equipment to route the caller to the fire dispatcher; however, her equipment at that inopportune time didn’t want to cooperate so Keturah was unable to connect the fire dispatcher to the call. Afraid that she might lose her caller’s connection, Keturah remained on the line with her. While reassuring the woman that help was on the way, Keturah was able to relay information to have a co-worker notify the fire department. By this time, the call center was receiving numerous calls as the apartment building was engulfed in flames. Keturah tried to persuade the woman to jump from the balcony; however, she refused, desperately screaming for someone to rescue her. Keturah received information from responders on the scene that the apartment building was too engulfed with flames and that firefighters were unable to fight their way to the apartment to get to the caller. Keturah continued to stay on the line with the caller knowing that her only hope was to jump from the balcony. She was too frightened and desperate to listen to Keturah’s instructions. Keturah continued to update the call information for responders with everything the caller told her, even the caller’s condition who stated she was unable to breath and was coughing. Keturah never gave up on her caller, even knowing at some point that she would be the last person that this woman spoke with. Keturah maintained her professionalism and empathy up until the woman’s phone line disconnected. Keturah displayed great courage and strength by being the lifeline for this caller, despite the outcome. It is one thing to realize you can save a life in this profession, but it is an entirely different thing to realize that sometimes this job comes with limitations.


2010 Telecommunicator of the Year Winners:
Daneille Grunden
LaKesha Hammonds
Keturah Nelms
Devon Jones and Lola Purvis

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