NENA Member Spotlight: Chris Knights, Regional Sales Consultant, GeoComm
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Posted by: Chris Nussman
This new special feature will highlight individual NENA Members from various backgrounds, industry segments, experience and geographic locations. It offers members an opportunity to share their story with their colleagues and the greater NENA community. Click here to email NENA Member Services Director Bri Robinson if we should feature you or someone you know.
NENA: Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re
from, what you do, and your history with NENA….
Chris Knights: My name is Chris Knights and I live in Virginia in a
beautiful rural setting. I am fortunate
to work for GeoComm as a Regional Sales Consultant in the Mid-Atlantic and
Northeast region. I have been a NENA
member since 2002 and have attended and spoken at dozens of regional NENA
conferences over that time period. I’ve
enjoyed participating in the NENA national and state chapter conferences as
well as the Development Conference over the years. I became an ENP in 2013.
NENA: What does 9-1-1 mean to you?
CK: 9-1-1 has become such an important part of our
infrastructure in North America. In an
ever-changing and uncertain world, 9-1-1 is one of the few things we all can
confidently depend on, when truly needed.
It is a rare privilege to be a part of such a life-saving industry. Of all the "products” available to us in our
daily lives, 9-1-1 is probably the most important service that we can
NENA: Why did you choose a career in public safety?
CK: Well, it’s funny how life goes sometimes. I think it was more like "public safety”
chose me. I started out in the GIS field
after college and then shifted to IT sales.
Then I was fortunate to find my niche in public safety by serving in a
sales capacity for a small handful of very reputable public safety technology
companies that all blended well with my growing experience in Wireless,
telephony, and GIS systems.
NENA: What do you like best about your job?
CK: I love the people that are in our industry and the fact
that I can help consult with agencies about improving their technology to
better serve the public. It is very
rewarding to see the finished product installed in PSAPs that is used every
single day to help locate distressed callers and those seeking assistance from
9-1-1. To be able to supply accurate map
data and software gives the call takers, dispatchers, and emergency managers
the confidence that they WILL be able to find a caller quickly. Providing these life-saving tools gives me
satisfaction that we are ultimately helping to save lives. How many other people can say that? Not many.
NENA: If you could convey one message to the public about 9-1-1
or being a 9-1-1 professional, what would it be?
CK: Understand that even though we have constantly improving
technology to handle the demands of NG9-1-1, it all still comes down to human
interaction and decisions that 9-1-1 professionals have to make in handling
each unique call or text, or video, or whatever is received by the 9-1-1
agency– whether it is the call-taker on the other end of the line or a
technology service provider that provides the equipment that runs in the
background to process that 9-1-1 call. The
human element will never go away. There
is tremendous pressure on all of us as industry professionals to do the right
thing in all circumstances. At the end
of the day, all we should be doing is serving the public to the best of our