Bill Harry, Executive Director of Valley Emergency Communications, recently was given The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials’ (APCO) Executive Award of Merit.

We nominate William (Bill) Harry, Executive Director of SLVECC, for the Executive Award of Merit.  Bill has used his years of experience and knowledge of communications to incorporate innovation to improve and enhance 911 services to the citizens of the Salt Lake area.  He continually takes broad reaching steps in his pioneering trek to NG911.  His dedicated contributions to public safety and PSAP communications reverberate throughout the State of Utah.

As a master collaborator, Bill brings public safety agencies together.  He organized and facilitates the Greater Wasatch Area Communications/ Dispatch Center Meetings.  In these meetings, agencies are able to discuss common issues, share best practices, and promote cooperation between public safety communication agencies.  These agencies are able to share mutual problems and discuss solutions, compare policies and procedures, and share methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of 9-1-1 call delivery and dispatching processes.  These meetings have been educational and productive and in many cases are the catalyst in discussing and improving many of the issues facing the agencies. Some of these items have been: ECATS, Interoperability, Quest pricing issues, CenturyLink, Utah POST, EMS Training Task Force, 911 Committee reports, AED registrations, TSP PSAP Guideline, IP Network Platform, The 911 Committee public educational campaign, the Viper Node Project, Legislative issues and more.

This spirit of collaboration is shown further as he supports joint agency trainings organized and hosted by Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communication Center without financial benefit or gain.

Bill can never be accused of being a bystander and watching from the sidelines, instead he jumps in to get the job done.  As a member of the Utah 9-1-1 Committee he takes on tasks such as Chair of the NG911 subcommittee and member of the 911 education campaign group.

He is an active working member of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council to recognize the need to support the transition from the current voice based 911system to a standardized IP-based system.

Bill is one of the principle architects of the VECC/Weber Regional multi-node IP-based 911 call delivery networks providing geo-diverse system redundancy using the first implementation of Emergency Services IP network in Utah.  CenturyLink Randy Swalberg and Cindy Mellor have expressed appreciation of Bill’s vital role as a leader in public safety communications:

“Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center is the first to implement next generation 911 trunking in Utah as well as one of the first in the United States. They have now begun the process of incorporating NG911 trunking with equipment that will also handle text, video streaming and pictures.  They are joining forces with CenturyLink and Intrado to implement this project.  VECC (Executive Director William Harry) has led the way in bringing multiple PSAP’s together in joint cooperation and consolidation using both NG911 and Intrado equipment that allows the PSAP’s to use one system, yet have autonomous centers that are able to handle local needs.  However if an emergency overloads or shuts down a center, the other centers can have dispatchers from that center log in on any console  and dispatch as if they are that center that is having the emergency.  NG911 and the consolidated VIPER system will enable the consolidated PSAP’s added flexibility, maneuverability as well as cost savings.  VECC should be commended for initiating this move.”

Bill currently serves as Utah NENA board member and is past president.  As such, he supports professional associations and pursuits for Utah public safety communicators. Recently Bill put together the first ever Utah ENP study group.  Bill has both eyes on the future of 911 and public safety communications in Utah as he works with dedication to bring us all to a higher standard of professionalism and service.  For these reasons and many not listed Bill is an Executive of the highest merit.


Mark Whetsel, SLVECC TS Manager

Gigi Smith, SLVECC Operations Manager

Mike Veenendaal, SLVECC Operations Manager

Jeff Monson, SLVECC Human Resource Manager

Andrea Oldham, SLVECC Administration Office Manager

Holly Downs, SLVECC Training Coordinator