Author: Amelia MuellerAmelia Mueller is the North Central Texas Emergency Communication District's communications coordinator. Her responsibilities include managing and its social media platforms, creating educational content, managing the public education program, and more.

911 Accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

911 Accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

What efforts are out there for 911 accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities? The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which passed on July 26, 1990, states that “all Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) must provide direct, equal access to their services for people with disabilities who use a teletypewriter (TTY), which are also known as a ‘telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD).”  

Title II of the ADA specifically addresses the requirements of telephone emergency service providers, which includes police, fire, and EMS. TTY users must have access to 911 or a seven or ten-digit emergency service number. A TTY is a device used with a telephone to communicate with a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing, as it turns telephone tones into letters on a display screen. It is limited as TTY communication can only occur in one direction at a time, therefore two users can’t type to one another at the same time and must take turns sending and receiving. TTYs can also be used over a computer software rather than an isolated machine. 

When traveling within our 911 service area to discuss 911 accessibilityEvo for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, community members claim TTY to be an outdated service that a rare few still rely on. When asked how they would reach 911, most claimed to use video-relay services. These services allow a person who is Deaf or hard of hearing to video conference with an interpreter who then makes a call on their behalf to their local law enforcement office. However, these calls rarely come through on the 911 line, as the interpreter first has to identify the location of the caller and contact the correct law enforcement agency through their seven or ten-digit line. 

Real-Time Text (RTT) has been identified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a replacement for TTY in all instances, including for emergency services. RTT can be activated on any cell phone and used to send messages over a phone call. NCT911 is in the process of launching an RTT pilot project, and the public can follow along and learn more on our resource page here.   

Text-to-911 is also becoming more common across the country and could be a viable way for the Deaf or hard of hearing communities to reach emergency services where it is available. 

911 telecommunicators are trained on utilizing TTY devices and communicating with the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, but as resources such as RTT and text-to-911 are introduced, that training will need to be modified. The industry continues to work on offering accessible, life-saving services as a right to all community members.      

What To Do If You Have An Emergency on Christmas Day

What To Do If You Have An Emergency on Christmas Day

Holidays, including Christmas, are almost always high traffic days for your local Emergency Communications Center (ECC). Something about gathering estranged family members together, driving in less-than-ideal conditions, and spending hours cooking extremely flammable holiday dinners makes this time of year very busy for public safety professionals. How do you stay on top of potential emergencies to avoid having to call 911 on a day that’s supposed to be filled with cheer? 

911 is for Emergencies Only  

Our first piece of advice is to remember that you should not be calling 911 unless you’re experiencing an emergency that requires a response from police, fire, or EMS professionals. Since most holidays are already busy for your local 911 telecommunicators, dialing 911 for anything other than one of those types of services is taking resources away from someone who might actually need them. Keep the lines clear for people in life-threatening situations, especially on high traffic days like Christmas.

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best 

During the winter season, we North Texans deal with an unusual weather pattern. One day you’re in danger of heat stroke, and the next week you’re worried about icy roads. Stay prepared for any possible situation this winter by loading up on any necessary supplies. It is recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) that you keep at least two-week’s worth of food and water stockpiled in case of an emergency. Though we hope you don’t have to break into your stockpiled food during the holidays, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Driving in icy conditions can be dangerous, so it’s also recommended that you take precautions to avoid accidents by ensuring you have enough air in your tires and driving slowly. Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle such as a first aid kit, flares, blankets, and kitty litter or sand. 

If you’re cooking this year, maintain kitchen safety precautions. Don’t leave stovetops unattended and keep an eye on any children. And if you’re frying a turkey, be sure to do your research for a proper set up to avoid a burnt lawn or, worse, house! 

Don’t Hang Up 

If you do happen to experience an emergency on a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas and need to dial 911, be sure to stay on the line until your call is answered. Though it is rare, during high traffic times you may have to wait to have your call answered, and some callers are tempted to hang up and redial. Don’t do this. This puts your call back at the end of line. Stay on the line until a 911 telecommunicator answers, and then listen carefully and answer all questions and instructions. Have your location information ready to relay as this is the best way to ensure a fast response time.   

The holidays are stressful, but don’t make them harder than they need to be by being unprepared. If you do need assistance from emergency services during a major holiday, stay calm, stay on the line, and answer all of the 911 telecommunicators questions for a fast response.  

Who is the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District?

Who is the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District?

Who is the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District?

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District, or NCT9-1-1, is a 9-1-1 authority that services 13 counties and five municipalities surrounding the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. But that’s just our official definition. We like to think that NCT9-1-1 is really defined by our people.

The district is made up of six different teams who are the backbone of the 9-1-1 program. These individuals work to provide superior services for the public and communities we serve, and we have a great time doing it. We’ve summarized our teams and their members below; take a look to discover the ins and outs of how a regional emergency communications district is run. 


The Data Team 

The 9-1-1 Data Team is responsible for the ALI Database. The ALI Database is a critical component of the 9-1-1 system and is the source for landline address information. The 9-1-1 Data Team manages approximately 400,000 customer records with an average error rate of 0.001. This low number of errors is achieved through the hard work of the local city and county addressing coordinators. Their efforts keep this database up to date. With the growth of the NCT9-1-1 program area, this is a constant work in progress. Each city and county is doing a great job at maintaining the data along in partnership with NCT9-1-1 staff.  

Team Members: 

LeAnna Russell, ENP, 9-1-1 Database Manager  

Melissa Tutton, ENP, 9-1-1 Database Analyst II 


The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Team 

The GIS Team has the primary role of ensuring accurate and precise GIS data is used throughout the NCT9-1-1 Public Safety GIS environment. The GIS Team assists the 9-1-1 Addressing Authorities from the NCT9-1-1 member agencies in the aggregation and quality control of GIS data. The GIS Team is tasked with provisioning high-quality spatial data into the public safety applications. These mission-critical applications are used to geospatially route live 9-1-1 calls, and plot emergency calls on the dispatch mapping platform at the PSAPs.  

Team Members: 

Rodger Mann, 9-1-1 GIS Manager 

David Dean, 9-1-1 GIS Project Coordinator  

Kasey Cox, 9-1-1 GIS Data Administrator 

Bruno Blanco, 9-1-1 GIS Specialist III 

Joe Brawner, 9-1-1 GIS Specialist III 

Danette Bradshaw, 9-1-1 GIS Specialist III 

David Lindsey, 9-1-1 GIS Applications Developer   



The Operations Team 

The 9-1-1 Operations Team strives for quality communications and support of the PSAPs throughout the region. The team’s goal is to serve as an advocate and liaison for the PSAPs with NCT9-1-1. 

The 9-1-1 Operations Team focuses on providing value in three main areas: 

Training – Offer specialized courses that meet the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) telecommunicator licensing requirements, as well as continuing education hours and Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master’s certifications.  

Quality Assurance – Serve as a liaison between the PSAPs and NCT9-1-1, conducting quarterly site visits to ensure compliance with regional, state, and national requirements.  

Communications – Keep necessary stakeholders updated with the achievements of NCT9-1-1 through marketing, visual media graphics, and public relations; provide public education throughout the region with the distribution of educational materials.   

Team Members: 

Jason Smith, ENP, 9-1-1 Operations Supervisor  

Brittney Burross, ENP, 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Coordinator 

Amelia Mueller, 9-1-1 Communications Coordinator   

Bret Batchelor, 9-1-1 Training Coordinator 

Kristin McKinney, 9-1-1 Visual Media Coordinator 


The Technology Team 

The 9-1-1 Technology Team provides technical expertise in the selection, development, implementation, maintenance, and usage of all NCT9-1-1 hardware, software, telecommunication networks, GIS, and other essential systems to advance NG9-1-1 within the NCT9-1-1 region.  

The team maintains and monitors the 9-1-1 Emergency Service IP network (ESINET) and all 9-1-1 PSAP equipment with regular preventative maintenance. The team is also responsible for the interconnection of the NCT9-1-1 Regional 9-1-1 ESINET with other 9-1-1 authorities and service providers as well as the state and national ESINETs as they become available.  

Team Members: 

Clay Dilday, 9-1-1 Technology Manager  

Tommy Tran, 9-1-1 Solutions Architect 

Steven Gorena, 9-1-1 Field Support Supervisor  

Jeremy Crabtree, 9-1-1 Systems Administrator II 

Christopher Woodruff, 9-1-1 Systems Administrator  

Aaron Lloyd, 9-1-1 Technology Specialist IV 

Robert Darnell, 9-1-1 Technology Specialist IV 

Ramya Cruz, 9-1-1 Network Engineer  

Myka Artis, 9-1-1 Network Engineer 


The Strategic Services Team 

The Strategic Services Team is responsible for various business functions on behalf of the NCT9-1-1 program. This includes supporting the director and the Board of Managers as needed; coordinating the strategic planning and budgeting processes; serving as liaison with various internal groups including legal, human resources, and accounting/purchasing; coordinating with various vendors; coordinating the NCT9-1-1 fleet; and providing project management support as needed.  

In addition, the Strategic Services Team is tasked with administering a suite of productivity applications that increase cross-team collaboration, improve processes, and ensure the program remains in compliance with various mandates and standards.  

Team Members: 

Jessie Shadowens-James, 9-1-1 Strategic Services Manager 


The Support Team

The Support Team oversees support-related activities for the NCT9-1-1 Program, director, and Board of Manager’s support  as needed. Additional duties include staff onboarding/offboarding, travel, meeting/event coordination, facilities, office supplies, office equipment inventory, Pcards, purchasing, and staff training and development.   

Team Members: 

Hilaria Perez, 9-1-1 Admin Program Coordinator  

Kari Gamez, 9-1-1 Senior Administrative Assistant 


Press Release: North Central Texas 9-1-1 Provides Hurricane Relief to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office

Press Release: North Central Texas 9-1-1 Provides Hurricane Relief to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office

ARLINGTON, Texas, September 2 – The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1), which serves as the headquarters for the Texas Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) state program, deployed two 9-1-1 telecommunicators today to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana for 14 days. The relief comes after the devastating effects of Hurricane Ida strained the parish’s resources and caused catastrophic damage to the community, according to their Facebook page. The deployed TERT members are licensed 9-1-1 telecommunicators employed by the Bedford Police Department and NCT9-1-1.

TERT members will work onsite at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and assist with the duties of 9-1-1 call takers and radio dispatchers. This provides relief to Lafourche telecommunicators who will have the opportunity to visit and assess the damage to their homes, check in on loved ones, and mentally recover from hurricane response efforts. 9-1-1 telecommunicators often work around the clock during disasters, sometimes living at their PSAPs for multiple days, and TERT programs around the country are utilized to support these agencies.

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TERT member Michael Martin of the Bedford Police Department, Texas TERT State Coordinator Jason Smith, and TERT member Brittney Burross of NCT9-1-1.

“TERT is who 9-1-1 calls when 9-1-1 needs help,” said Texas TERT State Coordinator Jason Smith. “State programs exist all over the country to provide support due to wildfires, hurricanes, or other disasters. 9-1-1 is often the first piece of critical infrastructure brought back after an incident, and the stress 9-1-1 telecommunicators experience as the first point of contact in their community’s recovery is significant. TERT provides necessary support to an unseen part of disaster response.”

Texas TERT is part of the first deployment phase and is partnering with eight members of Florida TERT to provide a total of ten 9-1-1 telecommunicators to support the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office. If a second phase is needed, TERT members from the Tennessee and Georgia state programs will be sent. Texas TERT was established in 2007 and has responded to disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, Ike, and assisted during Hurricane Isaac.



About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1)

The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these PSAPs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring PSAP functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.