How are you celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week?

​National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week is the week set aside each year to recognize the extraordinary work and efforts of our nation’s emergency call takers and dispatchers, the true first responders and unsung heroes of 911 – all 250,000 of them!

If you don’t know the history surrounding this important event, here’s a quick primer. According to 911dispatch.com: “Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create ‘National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.’ According to Congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994, and then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction. The official name of the week when originally introduced in Congress in 1991 was ‘National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.’ In the intervening years, it has become known by several other names, including ‘National Public-Safety Telecommunications Week’ and ‘International Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week.’

 Over the years, PSAPs have come up with all sorts of creative ways to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, ranging from simple pizza parties to handing out awards and accolades. I invite you to read some stories about the important work these unsung heroes are doing and how they’re being honored on the NENA and ntw911 Facebook pages which are dedicated to all of the men and women staffing our Nation's PSAPs.’ You can also visit the National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week website to read a special message from APCO President John Wright, get some tips on how to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (NPSTW) on a tight budget​, and see how various agencies across the country are taking the opportunity to recognize their 911 call takers and dispatchers. Another great way to celebrate NPSTW on a tight budget is to nominate your telecommunicators for a PSAPs’ Finest Award. You can read more about the PSAPs’ Finest Award Program and previous award winners on the NICE website​.​
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