In praise of 911 and the Run Now Relay
by Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis
Apr 08, 2014 | 519 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are some in our community who have chosen the health care field as their profession. There are also some in our community who have devoted their life’s work to protecting others and in so doing have joined the ranks of law enforcement, fire, ambulance and other professionals who step up to help others on a daily basis who they may not even know personally.

These professionals understand that when the majority of us would be running away from danger, they are running toward it in an effort to help others. With continual training and experience these professionals are equipped to perform the heroic actions necessary to help us all in a time of crisis.

But even with all of that training there is a link that is critical to a successful implementation of any emergency services need. Communication! This is not a movie like “Ghostbusters.” This is real life, and those who call Bradley County home know the value of our exceptional 911 call center and department. Without their expertly trained and seasoned staff of professionals, even the best trained medical emergency, law enforcement or fire professionals would not be able to successfully perform their duties each and every day.

Many of us forget or have never even thought about what it takes to supply a human voice to answer every 911 call for our community. According to Joe Wilson, 911 Center director, the facility averages 173,982 phone calls each year that require dispatch to other agencies or personnel. And for every one of these calls, two or three times as many calls are also answered.

Kris Willis, operations manager, states that teamwork is key. CPR, traffic, police information, animal control and medical calls of every conceivable combination occur on a daily basis. While all of these calls are being properly answered, there are also radio dispatch and monitoring of at least two other radio channels at a time by each staff professional. Constant training is mandatory, along with an initial training requirement of eight to 12 months before one is able to work a console “solo.”

Next week is designated as National Telecommunications Week and I would like for us to take a moment to thank our many telecommunicators who work each day to keep us safe.

I was also given a few quotes this week that I would like to share that originated from an unusual combination of people and personalities.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” was attributed to Winston Churchill.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” was attributed to Theodore Roosevelt.

And finally, “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail; both are equally important,” was attributed to Ellen DeGeneres.

Sometimes it is amazing what you can learn if you just take the time to sit back, reflect on what is good and notice how other people interact among themselves. With these quotes as a backdrop and the time to observe I, and many others, have noticed that there truly are “giants,” “heroes” and “amazing people” who walk, live, work and worship among us here in Bradley County.

On Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on the Bradley County Courthouse Square, please make time to come by and join others to show your families’ and our community’s support for some of the volunteers who are embarking on an epic journey — known to most as the Run Now Relay.

When hearing of the cowardly actions of those who had the mindset to only disrupt, cause mayhem, suffering, fear and terror at last year’s Boston Marathon, a few of our bravest citizens decided to go there to show support and to help the residents of Boston, and America, to heal from the terrorist actions of others.

While some of the local participants were planning this trip, they pondered how they would get to Boston. As was explained to me, someone suggested, “Well, why don’t we run to Boston?” And the idea took root.

Each individual involved will run approximately one hour while the others are following in caravans and this will be repeated with each person continuing in relay fashion 24 hours each day until they reach Boston. MapQuest lists this journey as a 1,015.98-mile drive that by car would have taken 15 hours and 39 minutes.

I can’t even comprehend the effort, logistics and determination needed to achieve such a task while running.

And then, after performing this feat some will also run in the Boston Marathon. Why would a group of our local community residents do such a thing? What once was just mentioned in passing has now become reality and has given these people the ability to raise awareness and also funds. They are donating all proceeds to help people who they have never met or might never have the opportunity to meet.

One of the goals is to help with prosthetics with an emphasis on youth, for whom most insurance companies only reimburse for one prosthetic limb. And if a child is in need of multiple prosthetic limbs over a lifetime as they grow, these funds will go to offset the massive expense incurred by their families over time.

The term “Tennessee Volunteer” may have started out west in Texas at the Alamo, but the true spirit of the term is alive and well in Bradley County. Please join with all of Bradley County in not only praying for these valiant volunteers’ safety, but that they also reach their goals.

Let us be thankful for the opportunity to be part of a community that not only believes in the “Golden Rule,” but also lives it on a daily basis.

Bradley County truly is Tennessee at its best.