State 911 council meeting set for April

PARKERSBURG – The 2013 West Virginia Enhanced 911 Council Conference will be held at the Blennerhassett Hotel from April 1-3.

This is the second time the conference will be held in Wood County. The first time was in 1999.

Wood County 911 Director Randy Lowe was earlier approved by the council to chair the event.

“This is an annual conference that typically moves around the state. It is the first time the conference has ever sold out, which it did in less than 30 days, and in turn the Blennerhassett Hotel completely sold out for the conference, 23 of the 55 counties will be represented,” Lowe said.

The conference provides training and networking for anyone associated with 911. The conference puts an emphasis on 911 dispatcher training. Highlights of the conference include: presentations by members of public safety agencies within Wood County and the state; classes on crisis negotiation, which is a nationally acclaimed 9-hour course encompassing hostage situations, barricaded subjects, suicidal situations, and crisis related stress management. This class will be instructed by Matt Shenk who was one of the 911 dispatchers working during the October 2006 Amish school shootings in Pennsylvania.

Also planned is a sternwheeler cruise and banquet featuring as the keynote speaker 1989 and 1990 Female Vocalist of the Year Kathy Mattea.