A new director for the 911 Emergency Service has been named to replace former director Juliette Gooding, who left Cayman earlier this year.
Brent Finster started with the 911 unit at the end of August, just in time to experience Hurricane Gustav’s arrival.
Mr Finster is an emergency communications veteran of 28 years.
‘Dispatching is a very complex, but often underrated activity,’ Mr. Finster said. ‘Having worked as a dispatcher myself, I know what dispatchers have to go through as well as what officers and fire and medical personnel in the field need to do their job well. I hope this ‘insider’ knowledge will help me to support and develop my team.’
Recruited from California, the former Communications Chief for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District started his career as a Colorado State Patrol dispatcher in 1979. Working his way through the ranks, Mr Finster qualified as a Class II firefighter, an emergency medical technician and a fire investigator.
In the mid 1980s he was elected Fire Chief for the Lyons Fire Protection District in Colorado, while his full-time job was a communications supervisor for the Boulder Regional Communications Centre. He then served as Communications Director for the Aspen-Pitkin County Communication Centre in Colorado before moving to Contra Costa County where he was stationed for the past eight years.
Mr Finster has authored numerous articles on emergency communications for industry publications. He has also compiled several operational policies and procedures manuals for the Association of Public-safety Communications Officials, Inc.
Mr Finster said his first priority in Cayman will be to get to know local emergency response stakeholders. At the same time, he will focus on maintaining a high service standard for Cayman’s 911.
Eric Bush of the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs was enthusiastic about Mr Finster’s appointment: ‘Given his background, I believe he will be able to transfer invaluable knowledge to our 911 team,’ Mr. Bush said.