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NENA Member Spotlight: Andie Hanson, ENP

Wednesday, November 9, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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This special feature highlights NENA members from various backgrounds, industry segments, experiences, and geographic locations. It offers members an opportunity to share their stories 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….

Andie Hanson: Currently, I’m working as Operations Manager at SNOCOM 911 in Washington State, just north of Seattle. Prior to that, I worked as a supervisor and dispatcher in Washington and Southern California. Since January 2016, I have also assumed interim duties as System Manager for our countywide public safety software project. The project has been live for a year, and consists of CAD, RMS, Corrections, and Mobile applications for the entire county with 53 agencies, 2 PSAPs, and 4000 users.

I achieved ENP certification in April of 2012, and really started getting involved with NENA shortly after coming to work at SNOCOM in November of 2012. I had also been involved in the State NENA chapter, but had not attended any NENA national conferences until 2014. I’ve worked to host two CMCP courses in Western Washington, and have also served on the NENA Institute Board since 2014.

NENA: What does 9-1-1 mean to you?

AH: 9-1-1 is the heart, soul, and backbone of public safety. We are needed to ensure that people get the help they need, all day, every day.

NENA: Why did you choose a career in public safety?

AH: My career actually chose me. I got into public safety at the age of 18, when I was still attending college. My local police department was hiring cadets. They paid well and worked around your school schedule. There were several tasks that the cadets could be assigned to, and I was initially assigned to help the dispatcher (one person show!). I never left the console; still here 22 years later.

NENA: What do you like best about your job?

AH: The fact that everything we do serves our community and makes a difference, which is sometimes hard to remember after the transition to an administrative role. In my recent assignment with the technology project, I love being a collaborator and working through issues to come to a solution that works for the greater good.

NENA: Is there a particular event or call that you are particularly proud of?

AH: I would have to say taking the leap from being a supervisor at my previous center where I had worked for 13 years to throwing my hat in the ring for the Operations Manager job here at SNOCOM. I had worked so hard to establish roots and professional contacts at that center/in that county. While taking this job was only one county away, I had to start over at pretty much square one in addition to taking on a new management role at a completely new center. I’m still learning on a daily basis 4 years later, but I’m proud of all I’ve done since I’ve been here.

NENA: What advice do you have for those who are new to the 9-1-1 profession?

AH: GET INVOLVED! You can start within the center and grow from there. If you have any aspirations to advance, take advantage of training opportunities that arise, and don’t wait for your agency to send you. There are many resources out there. Take advantage of promotional processes (even at other agencies) you qualify for even if you don’t think you are 100% ready; they are good experiences to have under your belt. Contact your local chapter and see if there is something you can do to contribute.

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?

AH: Simply who we are and what we do…we are highly skilled professionals that do so much more than answer a phone.

NENA: What do you like to do in your spare time?

AH: Attend concerts/live music and sporting events, travel, cook and relax at home.

NENA: What is your guilty pleasure? What can you not live without?

AH: Probably macaroni and cheese. I can live without it, but it definitely feels like a guilty pleasure when I decide to indulge :) As far as something I cannot live without, that would be Pearl Jam music and trips to somewhere warm and tropical on a yearly basis.

NENA: Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

AH: I’m nearly fluent in Spanish (it gets better when I go to Mexico, which is why I need to go once a year!) and that I spent several years showing cattle at the National Western Stock Show in Denver and the NILE stock show in Billings, MT.