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Sign the Petition:
Support Next Generation 9-1-1 Funding Legislation

The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 as part of the LIFT America Act (H.R. 1848) provides $15 billion to update our nation’s 9-1-1 infrastructure, protect this infrastructure from cyber threats, and ensures that all members of the first responder community will be trained to effectively use Next Generation 9-1-1 technology to complete their mission: To save lives.

Please sign the petition to support the Next Generation 9-1-1 Legislation in the LIFT America Act.

Fairley students recognize 911 dispatchers (NY)

In recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, Fairley Elementary students recently found creative ways to express their gratitude to employees in that field. Students used their ELA skills and artistic abilities to create dozens of cards for...

County 911 dispatchers in new center (TX)

Modern LED light bar on police cruiser flashing red and blue emergency lights.avid_creative, Contributor / Getty Images Jasper County law enforcement officers, fire departments and ambulances are now being dispatched out of a single location that had its formal open...

911 operators doing more with less in 2020 (Canada)

The call volume coming into the Chatham-Kent police emergency communications centre (ECC) has gone up recently. A 2020 annual report presented at the police service board this week showed calls increased by seven per cent from 2019 to a total of nearly 199,776 calls...

County may move its backup dispatch center (IN)

A backup location for the Vigo County's 911 Central Dispatch Center could be included in the new headquarters for the Terre Haute Police Department. The E911 Advisory Board agreed Wednesday to recommend the move to the Vigo County Commissioners. The move would in...

911 operator lauded for lifesaving efforts (Cayman Islands)

During her 17 years at the Department of Public Safety Communications, Chelsea Blake has handled various roles, but her recent efforts to talk an injured man through driving himself to the hospital, earned her unprecedented judicial praise. “My team and I, we’ve heard...

Fire District 3 works with excess 9-1-1 caller (WA)

Paramedics and firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 continue to work with a frequent caller and a few other Sequim area residents for abusing 9-1-1 for non-emergency incidents. Assistant Fire Chief Dan Orr said in a phone interview that one unnamed man who...

Racine County launches Text-to-911 service (WI)

Racine County is launching a new Text-to-911 service for residents who are unable to call 911 during an emergency. Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave announced the launch on Tuesday. “Safety is our highest priority, and this is a great public safety...

911 Center dedicated to Michael, MacDonald (WV)

Morgan County’s 911 Center was officially dedicated last Wednesday, May 5 during an outdoor ceremony that honored two men closely tied to emergency communications in the county. County officials unveiled a wooden sign naming the facility the Michael-MacDonald 911...

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How to 911 with Erica Snyder and Sami Pohl

Sami Pohl and Erica Snyder, dispatchers with the City of Loveland Emergency Communications Center in Loveland, Colorado, discuss their podcast How to: 911, which they use to answer common questions and misconceptions held by the public about emergency services. For...

Emergency Communications | Johnson County Kansas [Video]

Johnson County Emergency Communications manages countywide emergency communications systems and dispatch services. Operations is responsible for the processing of emergency and non-emergency calls for assistance received on E911 (Enhanced 911) and 10-digit phone...

‘It’s just call after call’: California 911 dispatcher – New

With a COVID-19 surge that is killing one person every 15 minutes in California’s Los Angeles County, the 911 emergency medical system has been stretched to the brink. [CLICK READ MORE TO VIEW VIDEO]...

Atlanta’s 911 call center short staffed (GA)

TLANTA - There is a critical staffing problem in the Emergency 911 Communications Center. Director Amanda Pritchett told the Atlanta City Council the office is short by at least 30 people. The number can fluctuate... READ MORE

Customizable, Reliable, Affordable, Secure 9-1-1 solution

A conversation with Darold Whitmer from nga911 about their cloud based solution

Addressing changes Watch now: Bristol, Virginia working to comply with Next Generation 911 system (VA)

Four-and-a-half minutes. That’s how long it took for a Washington County dispatcher to locate an emergency call in 2018 where three bodies had been found in a home near Watauga Road. Confusing addresses, misplaced numbers and duplicate street names can cause...

All Things ECC LIVE – Las Vegas Fire & Rescue

A conversation With Matt Grogan, Communications Specialist, about everything from Route 91 to COVID to Social Unrest and their affect on the Communications Center

Intelligent Scheduling for Safe Cities

A conversation with Greg Kandel and Jason Klink from Informer Systems about automated scheduling for public safety

Considerations when building a Public Safety Communications Center

Willis Carter offers insight on lessens learned and suggestion reference Building one in the current COVID-19 environment

ECC Operations During COVID-19

A conversation with Nonie McCandless about operations in a rural communications center during this pandemic
 

Opinions

They Have Your Six

Michael Mendoza

No matter the agency, we all have the officer that complains that
we are picking on them. We all know it’s mainly because it’s in their beat or
sector or they are the closest unit. It’s also because we are too busy with pending calls to care if their
feelings are hurt. A few of us make these officers feel our wrath by sending
them from one side of town to the other, fielding every report under the sun.
How many of us are envisioning the officer we want to do that to?

Ultimately, we all want every one of our officers to go home, and
we all want to catch the bad guy and be the best dispatcher we can be for our
residents, right?

In 2010, my agency went through some changes. Uncomfortable
changes I couldn’t get past. My lack of maturity and perspective got me in
trouble, and I decided to leave. A few years went by and I had to grow up. What
I learned was that in the end, the only one that had control over my life and
my future was me. I returned to the career I loved and from that point on I
decided I was going to outlive the BS.

Seven years later, several people in my agency are unhappy and
quitting. Reflecting on my unhappier times, I, like many of my current co-workers,
would project the blame of my problems onto others, believing they’re picking
on me. After this reflection I realized that every time I was acting out or
complaining, I was being the jerk officer grumbling about my dispatcher.

On the flip side, one of our officers will go through calls, clearing
them as quickly as possible, and we seldom hear a complaint. She just does her
job. Unfortunately, we take advantage of this type of officer. Like her, once I
was back in the headset again, I dove in headfirst, going above and beyond with
every opportunity I could. I got overwhelmed. I was doing great at work, but I
wasn’t doing so great at home. At that point, I decided I was just going to dispatch.

As dispatchers we are seldom thinking about the environment that
we are creating for our responders. We’re constantly focused on our duties, forcing
responders to milk calls to take care of their personal needs. That’s the
environment we create. We’re focused on the task at hand and less on the hands
that take care of the task.

We all have a dispatcher in our lives. For some of us it’s a supervisor,
sergeant, or even the dispatch manager. We get frustrated because they don’t
see it from our end. They don’t understand our needs. We fail to realize that they’re
our dispatchers; not literally, but they’re focused on the task at hand and
less on the hand that takes care of the task.

None of this is meant for you to go home and fix everything.

The purpose is for you to have a little more understanding, compassion,
and perspective.

Understand there’s always another motivation but the end goal is
still the same—to give the best service to the citizens that you are there to serve
and protect.  

If you are the employee: You’re not just another butt in a seat, you are someone’s hero and protector. You have their six. Likewise, understand that your supervisor or manager (or whoever) is your dispatcher, and they’ve got your six too.

About the Author

Michael Mendoza is a Texas Master Telecommunicator with over 10 years in the industry and Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) certified trainer.

Our Opinion: The hidden heroes (MO)

We join local law enforcement agencies in celebrating the “hidden heroes” — the telecommunications operators whose behind-the-scenes work is just as important as police you see out on the streets. This week is National Telecommunicators Week, which occurs every year...

Voices Above The Storm

Much has been written about the guardians who serve us daily: the police, fire fighters, and EMS personnel. Their positive contributions to our wellbeing are often profound … and visible. Yet there is another class of sentinels whose contributions are just as...

Your Stories

UNDER THE HEADSET: A Day in the Life

This is the first installment in a series of fictional dramatizations about the trials and tribulations of a public safety telecommunicator. The story is fictional, but the circumstances are real for many employed in public safety communications.

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