Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Congressional Record Vol. 167, No. 141 (Extensions of Remarks - August 06, 2021)
[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E878-E879] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF LAURIE FLAHERTY ON HER RETIREMENT FROM FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE
HON. ANNA G. ESHOO
Friday, August 6, 2021 MS. ESHOO. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Laurie Flaherty and her extraordinary work as the Coordinator of the National 911 [[Page E879]] Program, part of the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the U.S Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA.
On July 15, 2021, NHTSA announced that she will retire from her position at the end of this calendar year. Laurie Flaherty has worked as an emergency, trauma and flight nurse for more than 20 years. In 2005, when the National 911 Program was created by legislation I cosponsored and was signed into law in the 108th Congress, Laurie was asked to coordinate efforts to strengthen our nation's 911 emergency communications systems. Much of her work has been collaborating with other federal agencies and national, state, and local organizations to implement Next Generation 911, NG911, a digital infrastructure that will increase the resilience of the nation's 911 systems.
``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 Emergency Medical Services. During Laurie's tenure, the National 911 Program coordinated with the 911 community, Congress, and federal agencies to implement 911 grant programs and support information regarding funding opportunities, helped develop model 911 legislation, and collaborated with 911 professionals to ensure a smooth transition to NG911. As a co-founder of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus in 2003, I worked closely with Laurie for many years to achieve these important goals.
Laurie Flaherty was highly successful in 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 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. 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.''
Laurie Flaherty credits much of the success 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.''
Madam Speaker, I ask the entire House of Representatives to join me in honoring Laurie Flaherty for her extraordinary contributions to the safety of our nation as the National 911 Program Coordinator and in wishing her every blessing in her well-deserved retirement. ____________________