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As I sat down to write this, I struggled with what to say. I wanted to be inspirational and uplifting. So far, 2020 has been a year of lessons and the need for all to consider what it means to be a First Responder.

We started with COVID-19, which caused cancellations of conferences, training seminars, and going out into the public wearing a protective mask. Social distancing is required in all public venues. Our great state and nation is moving forward, with social distancing and wearing of masks the numbers of COVID-19 cases are starting to go down and things are starting to open back up slowly. We are now facing civil unrest, we hear things like “defund the police”.

My Grandparents and Parents always taught me to treat everyone the same way I would want to be treated. To my core to this day I hold to that teaching; we need to work together, listen to each other and work towards a common goal.

After September 11th, United We Stand was everywhere you looked, pride was seen on every face in our great nation when they looked to our flag. When I hear TX Strong, I immediately think of EVERY 9-1-1 Professional in the great state of Texas. Some have endured Hurricanes, some have endured active shooters, others have endured tornados, but one thing I have never heard is any of them giving up. Texas Telecommunicators work the console knowing that their home and loved ones are in the path of the storm, or the fact that they are sending their responders into harm’s way. Believe me when I say they are not going to leave that console until the job is done. I have been that dispatcher, and I am that supervisor who will come in when called and not leave until the incident is over. But I also know that I am not alone, I have my team that I work with every day. There is also TX TERT or the Juan Gomez Memorial Fund in place to assist TX Telecommunicators.

Being a member of TX NENA and serving the membership for me is truly the biggest honor I have ever received. TX NENA and TX APCO have been working together for the past several years to provide training, support and leadership for our Public Safety Telecommunicators and the 9-1-1 industry. We may not always agree with each other, but we are willing and able to sit down and find solutions for our members, coming to an agreement in the end which will best serve both Associations.



Maria Lemonds, ENP

Maria Lemonds, ENP
TXNENA President

"Fostering the development and accessibility of 9-1-1 through membership and services"

"Texas NENA strives to promote research, training, and education to ensure all citizens and visitors have immediate access to 9-1-1 and emergency public safety services"

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