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Rethinking 911 (AZ)

Tucson's mayor and police chief say cities need to take a fresh look at how they respond to emergencies. Speaking in New Orleans Wednesday morning, Mayor Regina Romero referred to the case of Carlos Adrian Ingram Lopez, a Tucson man who died in police custody two...

Counties in Arkansas slow to tell plans for 911 merger

The Arkansas 911 Board has not received the required plans from any of the state's counties to consolidate 911 operations to comply with a 2019 law, C.J. Engel, executive director of the Arkansas 911 Board, said in an interview. Under the Public Safety Act of 2019,...

911 dispatcher, co-workers, save mans life in Athens (NY)

ATHENS — An off-duty Columbia County 911 dispatcher and three employees at Peckham Industries in Athens are being credited with saving the life of a co-worker after the man experienced a medical emergency on the job. The man was displaying symptoms of a heart-related...

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911 dispatcher calls Chicago a place that ‘caters strictly to criminals who target the innocent’ [VIDEO] (IL)

From CBS CHICAGO on 05/16/2022 | 911 dispatcher Keith Thornton Jr. calls Chicago a place that 'caters strictly to criminals who target the innocent'. Thornton is the 911 dispatcher praised for how he coordinated the response the night officers Ella French and Carlos...

Baldwin 9-11 dispatcher honored for saving life of Summerdale mayor [VIDEO] (FL)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZIhqDfi88A

Brentwood Celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (TN)

The City of Brentwood and the state of Tennessee are celebrating this week as it is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The week, sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and celebrated annually, honors the...

Dispatcher Appreciation Week: An inside look at Nampa Police’s 24-hour service (ID)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWtYWROT96w For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 911 dispatchers are on the job answering calls for help in emergencies. "We're here to answer the calls when you're having your worst day," said Jazmine Eguia, an Emergency...

What is a Telecommunicator? (FL)

April 10 through April 16 is #NationalPublicSafetyTelecommunicatorsWeek. Held every year during the second week of April, #NPSTW is a time to recognize telecommunications personnel in the public safety community for their service and commitment to the profession....

RPD Celebrates 911 Dispatchers (TX)

RICHARDON POLICE DEPARTMENT Video Link: https://youtu.be/IwAOkyhlSKg The Richardson Police Department is celebrating 911 Dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10 – 16.) We say thank you to these special first responders, who answer...

Hobart dispatcher wins Australasian award after life saving emergency response [VIDEO] (Tasmania)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLOEnDxLJ24 A Tasmanian emergency dispatcher has been honoured for his calm handling of an incident involving a 69 year old man who cut his leg with a power tool...

A look Inside Durham’s 911 Call Center: Dispatcher Dwayne McIntire (NC)

Meet #Durham911 Dispatcher Dwayne McIntire, who shares more about his career serving in our Durham Emergency Communications Center. Watch for more videos coming soon in our series as we talk about the work, the challenges, and the rewards of serving in the Bull City....

Shortage of 911 operators impacts Midlands mother (SC)

ABC NEWS– Right now, there’s a critical shortage of 911 operators all across the nation. With roughly 240 million 911 calls coming in every year, some cities are missing up to half their usual dispatchers. This means some emergency calls are going unanswered,...
 

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Opinions

Unsung heroes (WY)

To the Editor:Can we take a minute to talk about some of our most unsung heroes in our county? I’m referring to our dispatchers, the people who answer our calls when we are having an emergency. 
It’s important for our citizens to know how often these people are forgotten as some of our most important heroes in our community. When we call them, it doesn’t matter which town we are from, whether we are in the city or the county. What matters to them is getting us the help we need, as quickly and efficiently as they can. They are our fist line of defense in every situation that comes to them. They have to make the decision of who needs to be notified and sent our way. They have to know what to tell us to do in any emergency that we call them with, how to administer first aid, how to perform CPR, the safest measures to take when there’s been an accident, etc. They must keep us as calm as possible, often in situations that seem like the worst moments of our lives. 
Most importantly they are doing all of these things simultaneously. While they are dealing with us they are also monitoring our rescuers’ safety, locations and providing quickest route details. In most cases they don’t ever know the outcome of any given situation. When we hang up with them, we often forget that they have just experienced our trauma with us, but they have to be ready to answer the next call when it comes in. Can most of us imagine what the weight of that might feel like? 
After saying all of this, I’m wondering if our two governing bodies, the city council and county commissioners, have given this any thought? 
We’ve all heard about communication equipment and whether we should or shouldn’t pay for it. We’ve all heard about the possibility of a joint powers board and should we have one or not. We’ve heard discussion of the possibility of splitting the dispatch center into two different centers. 
Have these two governing entities ever talked to the people who matter significantly here? Again, referring to the dispatchers who are doing this extremely difficult job. Are they asking for their input on what they might need, to do their jobs most efficiently? Were any of them ever asked to be on a joint  powers board? Have they been asked if they want to split the dispatch center? Have they been asked for any input at all?
Are these governing agencies choosing to make all of these decisions, that affect the public’s safety, without talking to the people who actually do the job?
I believe every city council member and county commissioner should be required to spend a 12-hour shift in the dispatch center watching what these people do to keep us safe. When they do, they should pray that it’s not one of the “bad days” because they might leave there a little scarred. Maybe if we require this of them before they make these important decisions they will realize that these are not just glorified receptionists we are talking about. 
These forgotten heroes the dispatchers are in fact the oil and fuel that keeps the rest of the machine running!

 

Your Stories

Why Me to Represent Some of You?

By Lee Ann Magoski...

Why Me to Represent Some of You?

By Lee Ann Magoski...

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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