County 9-1-1 Center Hosts National Event

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

April 5, 2007

Notes to Media:

High resolution photos from the news conference and tour of the 9-1-1 Center are available from the Office of Public Affairs.

Steve Souder, director of the Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center, is available for on-site or phone interviews (703-280-0528, TTY 711) about today’s national event as well as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors is scheduled to issue a proclamation on Monday, April 9, proclaiming April 8-14, 2007, as Public Safety Telecommunications Week in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center Hosts National Event Announcing Public Safety Telecommunications Week

The Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 Center) hosted a national news conference today announcing National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 8-14, 2007.

The event was the first time the two leading national 9-1-1 organizations – the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) – have held a joint media event for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Also participating in the event was the E9-1-1 Institute. 

Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center was chosen for today’s national event partly because several of its employees were recently honored with the 2007 Outstanding Call Taker/Dispatcher Honors Award from the E9-1-1 Institute at a ceremony on March 13 in Washington, D.C. The staff were recognized for their quick and clear-headed actions on May 8, 2006, when a young man opened fire in the parking lot of the Sully District Station, mortally wounding Master Police Officer Michael Garbarino and killing Detective Vicky Armel.

The Fairfax County DPSC is a nationally recognized public safety communications center, one of the 50 largest in the United States and the largest in Virginia. It is the agency responsible for receiving all 9-1-1 emergency calls in Fairfax County and dispatching units of the Fairfax County Police Department and Fire and Rescue Department. DPSC received and handled approximately 1.1 million calls in 2006. Highly trained professional public safety communicators, the “1st of the First Responders,” are the critical link that provides the county and neighboring jurisdictions with technical and operational excellence in processing and dispatching public safety resources. The center is one of the few of its kind in Virginia that is accredited by the commonwealth of Virginia to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch /Pre-Arrival Instruction to assist in medical emergencies prior to the arrival of public safety personnel.


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Enlarged photo

Photo caption (from left to right): Fairfax County Public Safety Communicators Oscar Vasquez, Adrian King, Necol Hill, Lisa Smith and Deanna Head; Jason Barbour, president, NENA; Greg Rohde, executive director, E9-1-1 Institute; Steve Souder, director, Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications; Wanda McCarley, president, APCO International; David Rohr, interim fire chief, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department; and Lt. Col. Charles Peters, deputy chief of police, Patrol Division, Fairfax County Police Department.

Media Contacts:

For information about National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, contact Courtney McCarron with APCO International at or 202-833-9600.

For information about the county’s 9-1-1 Center or Public Safety Telecommunications Week in Fairfax County, contact Steve Souder, director, Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications, at 703-280-0528, TTY 711.

APCO International
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. APCO International serves the professional needs of its 15,000 members worldwide by creating a platform for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate, maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit

NENA is The Voice of 9-1-1™. Now celebrating its 25th year, NENA was established to promote implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 as North America’s universal emergency number. NENA has grown to become the leading professional nonprofit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. NENA serves its more than 7,000 members in 47 chapters across the U.S., 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

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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