At Cypress Creek EMS doing important, innovative things first is part of the culture. After all, Cypress Creek’s Charlie Hooks was the first Paramedic ever certified in the state of Texas.
Now, CCEMS has the first “RADO” certified communications professional in the state of Texas AND the first to be certified in the country. RADO stands for All Hazards Radio Operator and the very first certification went to Communications Center Manager Niky Smith. This is a certification come from the US Department of Homeland Security under the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which was created before September 11, 2001, but gained more importance after the attack.
Niky took the state’s first ever training course with a group about 20 dispatchers back in June and then followed up by filling out a task book outlining large events for which she handled communications in her capacity at CCEMS, such as Tropical Storm Bill, the FM 1960 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, the National Ironman Competition in the Woodlands and a regional exercise called “Operation Whirlwind.”
The certification rules for RADO (pronounced Ray-doh) limit qualifying events to the last three years, so Niky could not include her work during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
Niky received notification about her RADO certification via an email from DPS on Tuesday, September 15. Her certification is signed by DPS Deputy Assistant Director Todd Early. The email confirmed that Niky is the first to be certified in Texas and the first to be certified in the entire nation.
This certification is part of an ongoing effort under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure that all aspects of emergency response are ready for anything, whether it be a terrorist attack or a hurricane. This readiness initiative is handled under the National Incident Management System or NIMS.
Niky expects to have her Communication Leadership (COM-L) Certification sometime in November.
Congratulations to Niky Smith and thank you for bringing two more “firsts” home to Cypress Creek EMS.
In November, Niky was named Chair of the Communications Committee at the International Public Safety Association