The 911 Rural Community Task Force provides mission critical support to existing and new 911 Rural Task Force teams, by delivering concepts and tools to overcome deficiencies in the 911 systems serving their rural community.
The 911 Rural Community Task Force is committed to raising public awareness of 911 system deficiencies for rural communities and gaining government support for crucial elements plaguing 911 systems servicing rural communities across the nation.
Sherry Herzing lost her husband, Bob, when he suffered a heart attack in August of 2018. Rescuers arrived too late to save him because: 1) cell phone calls were going to the wrong 911 county/state; 2) 911 Centers could not transfer the call to the correct county; 3) instead, the 911 Center gave a 10-digit number to the people performing CPR to call Brunswick County, VA; and 4) ultimately, neighbors calling 911 from their landlines, were successful in reaching the proper county, and determining the location of the emergency but resulted in a 48 minute delay.
In addressing these issues, other challenges were identified and the LKG 911 Community Task Force (LKG911CTF) was formed to aid in improving the 911 System and to educate the public to save lives. The LKG911 Community Task Force is currently comprised of over 70 volunteers, all working toward this common cause.
To educate the public and legislative officials to save lives and aid in improving the 911 operations in rural communities across America.
Educate the public and government officials on 911 system deficiencies plaguing rural communities and gain their support to save lives by addressing the challenges.
The executive team embraces the vision and develops strategies and priorities in gaining support from officials who can influence positive change to the broken Rural 911 systems across the country.
Membership and Leadership
Executive Team Objectives (Goals)
1. Meet with publicly elected and appointed officials to educate them and raise their awareness about the severe challenges associated with rural 911 operations and gain their support and assistance in addressing these challenges.
a. Service levels should parallel that of urbanized areas.
2. Adopt legislation that reclassifies the 911 Dispatcher Job Classification from clerical to First Responder.
a. High attrition rate, understaffed and continuously training on the job.
b. Hours, pay, benefits and morale issues.
c. Formal curriculum, accreditation.
3. Develop strategies and solutions to retain volunteer or paid rural fire fighters and EMS.
4. Develop strategies and solutions to address incompatibility of communication devices among responders who share resources and provide backup while crossing counties and state lines.
5. Develop strategies and solutions to locate those in need on land and water. Dispatcher maps for lakes, mountains, etc.; improving home and street identification; lighting and other improvements beyond the outskirts of incorporated towns.
6. Develop strategies to fund more cell towers where cell companies won’t make non-profitable investments in low density rural areas.
7. Promote and mentor rural communities who want to launch their own area 911 community task force.
911 Local Community Core Teams
Rural Community 911 Teams are front line grass roots activities, at the local level, to help overcome the deficiencies in the 911 rural system. They deploy concepts and activities to save lives. Their Core Team Director works at the local level to influence positive change in their local 911 system.
Membership and Leadership model for a Local Team
Director-Sherry Herzing-Established the vision of the LKG911 Community Task Force and is the liason for the 911 Family. Primarily responsible for contacting and working with commissioners, delegates, senators, companies, and the public to educate them on the problems and issues associated with the 911 system. Works hand to hand with our core group leaders to keep the vision on track.
Communications/Marketing– The command center to keep all on track. Get information out to everyone and keep the motivation going and the work out to the task force. Makes sure we have all the materials needed to get the message out to the public. Is responsible to train presenters and schedule presentations.
Hospitality & Appreciation– Give appreciation gifts, food, etc. to our 911 family in all five counties surrounding Lake Gaston. Spread this idea to other rural communities.
Research – Does research for the task force.
Media – Write articles for the newspaper/flyers & establish contacts with newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV to get interviews set up. Website design and face book editor.
Medical – Work with other individuals to help set up CPR classes, Stop the bleed classes, and neighbors helping neighbors.
Water Safety– Working to establish a lake map to be used by our 911 dispatchers and first responders with GIS points to help find those in distress on the lake. Working to get lights and signs on bridges to enhance safety on the lake.
Core Team Objectives (Goals)
1. Meet with residents and businesses of all 5 counties to raise their awareness of issues and challenges associated with rural 911 operations and provide resources aiding them in overcoming 911 system deficiencies and save lives.
a. Residents, Homeowner Associations, churches, civil organization and community groups in local areas.
2. Improve communication and coordination between all county 911 Dispatchers. Facilitate joint meetings where ideas, practices and challenges can be openly shared.
3. Develop strategies and solutions to address basic measures to locate those in need, on land and water, such as improving home and street address identification, lighting.
4. Implement Neighbor Helping Neighbor programs that can provide interim assistance, like neighborhood AEDs, while emergency responders on enroute.
Values and Principles
Our members operate and subscribe to the following values and principles:
1. With honesty, integrity, and respect for each other
2. Value for diversity of rural living
3. Optimism about achieving the mission
4. Transparency and openness
5. Compassionate neighbors