A significant step forward in Wisconsin's disaster relief plan

An agreement being signed Tuesday by the State Office of Emergency Management and three other groups of emergency responders, will provide mutual aid for emergency dispatchers.

It will set up specially trained teams, at the ready if needed in areas of the state hit by any kind of disaster. It's called the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce or TERT for short.

Connie Catterall heads one of those groups. She says it's a lesson learned from Hurricane Katrina when police and fire emergency dispatch centers were disrupted and needed help. Well-meaning people showed up to volunteer but many did not have the specialized training necessary.

And since Wisconsin is not immune from natural disasters, groups representing emergency responders in the state, like the one headed by Connie Catterall, are forming six regional teams specially trained to be ready if an area of the state asks for emergency dispatch assistance.

Rather than waiting for a disaster to happen, Catterall says they want to be trained and ready to go when asked.

Connie Catterall is President of the Southeast Wisconsin Communications Resource/Support Group.


AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:04 MP3 )

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