Comm Center News


They’re called “the first calm voice in the dark” and this week 911 dispatchers are being recognized during Public Safety Telecommunicator Week. The individuals who are the first to take a call in an emergency, assess often on-going incidents and clearly communicate...

‘Stay on the line, I’ll tell you what to do next’

Paying homage to our heroes in headsets during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), the second week of April, is a chance to honor all our wonderful telecommunications personnel in the public safety...

911 Dispatcher Wins Holiday (OH)

Wood County, Ohio — Monday is the first day of the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, an event aimed at thanking behind-the-scenes staff to ensure the safety of the public and first responders. Cpl. Beth Amos, Wayne, Ohio, is a dispatcher for the Wood...

Recognizing the heroes behind the headset (KY)

FRANKFORT – Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) are taking time this week to acknowledge and celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 11-17), a time set aside to recognize the more than 200,000 individuals throughout the United...

Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center Recognizes Dispatchers During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (MA)

For immediate release

Staff at the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center moved into their new facility in January. (Photo courtesy Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center)
HOLBROOK — Director Steve Hooke wishes to recognize the public safety dispatchers of the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
During the week of April 11-17, public safety agencies take time to reflect on the critical role telecommunications professionals play in supporting first responders. The week, sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, honors the thousands of men and women across the country who respond to emergency calls, dispatch first responders and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to residents
This has been an important year for the HRECC. In January, staff formally moved into a new 5,967 square-foot facility located at 300 South Franklin St. behind the Holbrook Public Safety complex. The facility features the latest technology used in emergency communications and consists of room space available for future equipment upgrades. Some of the technological components available at the facility include radio console positions, fire alarm receiving equipment, advanced telephone systems, a video monitor wall and more.
Additionally, new features designed to ease the stress of dispatchers include a full kitchen, ergonomically correct and temperature-controlled consoles and a quiet room where staff can go to clear their heads after particularly difficult calls.“We constantly strive to give our telecommunicators every opportunity to do the very best job they can, including numerous incentives, robust training and now this new facility,” Director Hooke said. “The men and women who make up the HRECC play a pivotal role in working with fellow first-responders to keep members of our communities safe. They are often the first point of contact during an emergency, and their level of professionalism and calmness in the most stressful of situations is unwavering. We take this opportunity to recognize them for the extraordinary work they do every day and thank them for all that they do.” 
For more information on the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center, click here.
About APCO International
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It sponsors National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week each year.
It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide — and the public welfare – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.

Jefferson City 911 Center operators being recognized (MO)

911 Center operators being recognized The Jefferson City Police Department is recognizing the work of its 911 Center operators during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week occurs every second full week of April and is dedicated to honor the men and...

City reaches driving agreement with ambulance service (PA)

The statewide shortage of emergency medical workers and Meadville’s search for new revenue converged last week in the form of an agreement between the city and the city’s only ambulance company. The agreement approved unanimously by members of Meadville City Council...

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...

Importance of dispatchers celebrated (KS)

Public safety communications officers, commonly know as 911 dispatchers, play a vital role in protecting the life and property of Barton County citizens, a role only heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the crux of a proclamation adopted by the County Commission Monday morning marking this as National Public Safety Communications Officers Week. “Most of the time, the dispatcher is rarely thought of or recognized as the first line of help,” 911 Director Dena Popp said. “We are the face that is never seen. We are the golden glue that holds it all together.”Dispatchers in Barton County are proud to serve his profession, and continue to despite rarely being told, good job or thank you, Popp said.“I think sometimes people don’t understand your job, and I certainly hope they don’t feel that coming from this commission,” District 5 Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. “We really are very appreciative that they do.”
District 2 Commissioner Barb Esfeld said Popp gave her a tour of the 911 center and she saw that it was not an easy job. “I want them to know how much we as commissioners do appreciate them, and they do a wonderful job.”A challenging year“In times of intense personal crisis, community-wide disasters, and now this COVID-19 pandemic, the first point for those seeking emergency services is 911,” Popp said. There have been many changes over the last year with new procedures facing callers because of the outbreak.“The public safety communication centers that received these calls have emerged as the first and single point of contact for people seeking immediate relief during an emergency,” she said. Amid this pandemic, Popp said two calls stood out in her mind. First was a truck driver who passed through Barton County, but wound up on a ventilator in Oklahoma City with COVID. The hospital worked with local dispatchers to track down family members. The second was from a family member who would appreciated the positive contact they had with the 911 Center.On March 29, 2020, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 40 that designated dispatchers as emergency responders along with law enforcement, fire fighters. That was after about a year-long effort by Kansas chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials and National Emergency Number Association. 
“Each dispatcher has exhibited compassion, understanding and professionalism during the performance of their job in the past year,” Popp said. A difficult job“If you have an emergency, whether it’s medical, fire, an accident or a crime, who do you call for help? When you think of who responds in emergencies when you think most people would say police, sheriff fire or EMS,” she said. “But who is the first entity you speak with when you call for help? It’s your 911 dispatch center.”Even if one calls the sheriff’s department or police department, they’ll transfer them to dispatch. Dispatch will ask pertinent questions to get the appropriate units responding, Popp said. They also run names, vehicle tags and driver’s licenses for officers, log all radio transmissions, as well as take 911 calls.“We listened to callers reporting crime, civil matters, medical emergencies, fires, even those in mental crisis,” she said. “Dispatchers are the lifeline for officers and other emergency responders.”Dispatching is often perceived as an easy job where one just sits behind the desk and answers phones and radios. “However, being an emergency dispatcher is not for everyone.” she said.It necessitates rotating shifts, time away from family, even on the holidays and weekends. They must have thick skin, patience and the ability to handle high stress, and the ability to multi-task at high levels.
“It requires the ability to handle those who curse at you and yell at you, the ability to show empathy and understanding. It requires the strength not to break down when a loved one collapses or a baby quits breathing, or when you have an hysterical caller whose house is on fire with pets are family inside,” she said. They have to act quickly to gather necessary information and get it to the responders. According to the proclamation, “communications officers are the first and most critical contact citizens have with emergency services, and they are the single vital link for emergency responders, monitoring their activities by radio, providing them information and insuring their safety, she said. Barton County Communications Officers have contributed substantially to the apprehension of criminals, suppression of fires and treatment of patients.”In a related item, the commission has been invited to attend the Communications Department staff meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday at the Communications Center, 1300 Stone, Great Bend.

PSBTA FirstNet™ Virtual Regional Forums

Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa
Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 8:00 am PT/9:00 am MT/ 10:00 am CT/ 11:00 am ET

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 9:00 am PT/ 10:00 am MT/ 11:00 am CT/ 12:00 pm ET

N. Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota
Thursday, April 29, 202 - 8:00 am PT/9:00 am MT/ 10:00 am CT/ 11:00 am ET

Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 7:00 am PT/8:00 am MT/ 9:00 am CT/ 10:00 am ET

Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina
Thursday June 10, 2021 - 7:00 am PT/8:00 am MT/ 9:00 am CT/ 10:00 am ET

Subscribe to Comm Center News

Get the latest News, Articles, and Insights from weekly in our newsletter.

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Share Your Story

Join our community to share your experience and connect and collaborate with colleagues.

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest News, Articles, and Insights from weekly in our newsletter.

* indicates required

Follow Us

Stay connected with the latestEmergency Communications News, Articles & Information.