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PEMA Staff Recognized with Governor’s Award for Excellence

10/26/2023

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) today announced that four staff members, Charles (Bill) Shertzer, Raymond Marino, Christian Przybylek and Timothy Elbertson were honored with Governor's Awards for Excellence from Governor Josh Shapiro during a ceremony earlier this week for their work in planning, coordinating, testing and implementing the new Next Generation 911 service (NG911) in Pennsylvania.

"The thousands of dedicated professionals who work in the state's 61 public safety answering points, or 911 centers, processed more than 14 million calls for help in 2022," said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. "Next Generation 911 provides them with the best tools and resources to continue to serve their communities today and into the future."

To successfully migrate county 911 centers to the new NG911 system, this team used its collective knowledge, experience, and management skills to plan and coordinate between county 911 professionals, county GIS professionals, 911 phone system vendors, computer aided dispatch system vendors, the legacy 911 service provider, the NG911 service provider, and telecommunications carriers. In addition, Elbertson led PEMA's outreach efforts to ensure 911 system stakeholders and the public understood what NG911 is, why the transition is necessary, and its impact.

"The 911 system is the critical link between people who need help and the people who are trained to help," said Director Padfield. "The efforts by the PEMA team to coordinate and manage efforts among a variety of 911 system stakeholders was instrumental to ensuring each county's migration to NG911 service was successful."

Pennsylvania's NG911 system is unlike any other in existence and will serve citizens and public safety well for years to come. At its core is a first in the U.S., fully fiber-based, private Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) that is being used to deliver 911 calls. The ESInet was built to support additional public safety applications such as computer-aided dispatch systems, radio, and much more to allow for public safety stakeholders at all levels of government to increase interoperability while finding cost and operational efficiencies.

The Governor's Awards for Excellence recognize individuals and groups of state employees for exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation and increased efficiency. Shertzer, Marino, Przybylek and Elbertson are among 54 employees from eight agencies being honored by Governor Shapiro for exceptional accomplishments in 2022.

More information about the Governor's Awards for Excellence is available online.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Ruth A. Miller: ruthmiller@pa.gov

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