Flaherty to Retire as National 911 Program Coordinator
Friday, July 16, 2021 | Comments

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DoT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Laurie Flaherty, the National 911 Program’s coordinator, will retire at the end of this calendar year.

Before joining the NHTSA Office of EMS, Flaherty worked as an emergency, trauma and flight nurse for more than 20 years. When the National 911 Program was created in 2005, she was tapped to coordinate efforts to help strengthen 9-1-1 emergency communications systems across the nation. Over the years, much of her work has involved collaborating with other federal agencies and national, state and local organizations to implement next-generation 9-1-1.

“We are greatly in debt to Laurie for her initiative and commitment to the 911 Program from its inception," said Dr. Jon Krohmer, director of NHTSA’s Office of EMS. "In preparation for the end of her service to the 9-1-1 community with the National 911 Program, we have put a transition plan in place. With support from existing staff, we expect that the good work the program commenced under Laurie’s stewardship, and in collaboration with the national 9-1-1 community, will continue.”

Throughout Flaherty’s tenure, the National 911 Program has coordinated with the 9-1-1 community and a variety of federal agencies to tackle several key initiatives such as:
• Implementing 9-1-1 grant programs and supporting information sharing about other funding opportunities
• Collecting and utilizing 9-1-1 data that has helped support the development of model 9-1-1 legislation and policy to advance emergency communications
• Collaborating with states, technology providers, public safety officials and 9-1-1 professionals to create and share a variety of resources and tools to ensure a smooth transition to NG 9-1-1 and help 9-1-1 systems take advantage of new communications technologies

Additionally, Laurie was successful at creating awareness about 9-1-1 at the federal level, both in representing 9-1-1’s interests and in helping departments like the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to make progress toward both optimal 9-1-1 services and NG 9-1-1.

“Laurie has done, and continues to do, an outstanding job as head of the 911 Program,” said National Emergency Number Association (NENA) CEO Brian Fontes. “The program has come to prominence under her leadership through facilitating discussions and agreements on 9-1-1 issues, masterfully conducting grant programs, and issuing reports useful to all in the 9-1-1 and public-safety community.”

As a champion for 9-1-1, Flaherty's skill as a convener and collaborator has been widely recognized and appreciated.

"Laurie has been an exceptional advocate for 9-1-1 throughout her career, and 9-1-1 programs and the people who support them across the country have greatly benefited from her dedication and vision for 9-1-1 and now NG 9-1-1,” said Kelli Merriweather of the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications and president of the National Association of State 911 Administrators. “She will be missed more than we can say, but she leaves the 9-1-1 community stronger and well prepared for the future."

After nearly 20 years of service in NHTSA’s efforts to support emergency communications, public safety and pre-hospital healthcare, Flaherty credited much of the successes of the program to the guidance and support of the many dedicated and focused 9-1-1 professionals she worked with in both public and private sectors.

“I am grateful for the individuals and organizations who have been such wonderful colleagues and friends as we have worked together to improve 9-1-1 systems nationwide,” said Flaherty. “This is especially true of the DOT’s support, which, absent any mandate, established a track record of more than 15 years of discretionary funding and staffing, exclusively for 9-1-1 issues. That commitment created a single federal home for 9-1-1 issues that will last beyond any single person’s career.”

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On 7/23/21, darrin reilly said:

On 7/21/21, Robert Cobb said:
Thanks Laurie for your unwavering support of 9-1-1 from the National 911 Program. Enjoy your new growth curve in life .


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