• Kim Scovill

Best Wishes to Laurie Flaherty!

National 911 Program Coordinator Announces 2021 Retirement Plan

July 15, 2021


Today the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the U.S. Department of

Transportation’s 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, Laurie 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 911 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 911, a digital infrastructure that will increase the resilience of the

nation’s 911 system.


“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 911 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 911

community – will continue.”


Throughout Laurie’s tenure, the National 911 Program has coordinated with the

911 community and a variety of federal agencies to tackle several key

initiatives such as:

* Implementing 911 grant programs and supporting information sharing

about other funding opportunities

* Collecting and utilizing 911 data that has helped support the

development of model 911 legislation and policy to advance emergency

communications

* Collaborating with states, technology providers, public safety officials,

and 911 professionals to create and share a variety of resources and

tools to ensure a smooth transition to NG911 and help 911 systems take

advantage of new communications technologies


Additionally, Laurie has been highly successful at creating awareness about

911 at the federal level, both in representing 911’s interests and in helping

departments like the U.S. Department of Defense to make progress toward

both optimal 911 services and NG911.


“Her strong leadership competencies – relationship building, communication,

problem solving and decision making – have been extremely effective for the

role she’s played,” said Krohmer.


Brian Fontes, CEO of the National Emergency Number Association, agrees.

“Laurie has done – and continues to do – an outstanding job as head of the 911

Program,” said Fontes. “The Program has come to prominence under her

leadership through facilitating discussions and agreements on 911 issues,

masterfully conducting grant programs, and issuing reports useful to all in the

911 and public safety community.”


As a champion for 911, Laurie's skill as a convener and collaborator has been

widely recognized and appreciated.


Kelli Merriweather of the Texas Commission on State Emergency

Communications and president of the National Association of State 911

Administrators stated, "Laurie has been an exceptional advocate for 911

throughout her career, and 911 programs and the people who support them

across the country have greatly benefited from her dedication and vision for

911 and now NG911. She will be missed more than we can say, but she leaves

the 911 community stronger and well prepared for the future."


After nearly 20 years of service in NHTSA’s efforts to support emergency

communication, public safety and pre-hospital healthcare, Laurie credits much

of the successes of the Program to the guidance and support of the many

dedicated and focused 911 professionals she has had the pleasure to know, 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 911

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 911 issues. That

commitment created a single federal home for 911 issues that will last beyond

any single person’s career.”



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