Reflections on National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (part 4)

National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (April 8 – 14, 2018) is the week set aside to recognize the extraordinary work and efforts of our nation's emergency call takers and dispatchers, the true first responders and unsung heroes of 9-1-1. This Year, in honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I asked 9-1-1 professionals across North America to tell me why it's important to recognize 9-1-1 Telecommunicators and how their centers are marking the occasion this year. Here are some of their reflections:

Sheryl Hughes, C.M.C.P, 9-1-1 Audio Records Custodian, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Communications & Technology Bureau, Communications Division

"It is important to recognize public safety telecommunicators. We are the first person someone in distress talks to when something happens to them. People call 9-1-1 for a variety of issues: to report their home was broken into while they were at work, to report a family disturbance, a house fire, or a lost child. Telecommunicators have many different duties: answering 9-1-1 calls, non-emergency calls, and dispatching police, fire or ambulance. Often we do not know the outcome of the incident that was reported. Somehow we manage to keep going every day. It is nice when someone you were able to help just says 'Thank you.'"

"For National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, we're celebrating all week with a variety of fun, themed days:  Manic Monday (crazy clothes, socks and hair), Tune in Tuesday (70's disco attire), Warrior Wednesday (dress as your favorite super hero), Hawaiian Luau Thursday (flower shirts), Friday Night Lights (sports fanatic represent your favorite team). The Deputies working in Patrol for each District and shift send food or goodies to the Emergency Dispatcher Center to cover all three shifts."

Major Ronald D. Hoefeld, Jr., Communications Commander, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office (LA)

"I believe it is important to recognize telecommunicators because they truly are the first, First Responder. I have learned a tremendous amount of information in the past several years working in 9-1-1, but the most important thing I learned, is how important the call taker and dispatchers are. Without their dedication and passion for this profession, 9-1-1 would not be able to function as we know it. The call takers and dispatchers of the Jefferson Parish 9-1-1 Center have earned my respect and the respect of many other law enforcement personnel who never set foot in the center until they had too. Now that the new recruits and veteran police officer spend a rotation with 9-1-1, they too have a new respect for the 9-1-1 personnel."

"The Jefferson Parish 9-1-1 Center is hosting dessert days and other activities during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week."

Want to learn more?

I hope you enjoyed these reflections on National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week from representatives of agencies across North America. Please visit the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW) website to see how various agencies across the country are taking the opportunity to recognize their 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers.

Another great way to recognize your agency's 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers is to nominate them for a PSAPs' Finest Award. You can read more about the PSAPs' Finest Award Program on the NICE website.

Read previous reflections
Reflections on National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (part 1)
Reflections on National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (part 2) 
Reflections on National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week (part 3)
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