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!


Keep Your 911 Commitment

In your day-to-day work life, have you ever stopped to wonder why you continue to come in to work every day? Why the PSAP life? More specifically, why you are an emergency services telecommunicator? Bills, boredom, family to support, or just getting out of the house?...

BCLA privileged to honors emergency responders | Opinion (KS)

To the Editor,Did you know Brown County has 279 emergency responder positions filled? Did you know that in addition to community fire departments, police departments, dispatch, the sheriff’s department and our county wide ambulance service, we also have a mounted search and rescue team (which uses horses & riders to search off the beaten path during an emergency) and Squad 48 (which extract people from vehicle accidents & other emergencies requiring special equipment)?The men and women doing these jobs are not doing it for fame and fortune. They are doing it because they feel called to serve and protect their community…to make it a better and safer place for themselves, their families and ALL of us.BCLA was privileged to honor Brown County’s 279 emergency responders on Patriot Day – Saturday, September 11, 2021. On a day filled with much emotion – the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – we remembered those that gave the ultimate sacrifice at the World Trade Center in New York City. Then we said thank you to our Brown County First Responders because we never know when that opportunity could be taken from us.THANK YOU to the almost 200 people who participated in the procession and ceremony and another approximately 70 people who took advantage of the World Trade Center Virtual Tour at Arrow Twin Theatre. If you were unable to attend Saturday’s events, we encourage you to take a moment, pick a specific emergency responder &/or a department and send a handwritten thank you to them. Brown County departments honored on Saturday included:Everest Fire DepartmentFairview Fire DepartmentHiawatha Fire DepartmentRescue Squad 48 & Town & Country EMSHorton Fire DepartmentIoway Tribal Fire DepartmentKickapoo Tribal Fire DepartmentMorrill Fire DepartmentPowhattan Fire DepartmentRobinson Fire DepartmentBrown County Sheriff, Dispatchers & Mounted Search & RescueHiawatha PoliceHorton Police & DispatchersIoway Tribal Law EnforcementKickapoo Tribal Law EnforcementReginal Highway TroopersSac & Fox Tribal Law EnforcementIf you were unable to see the Virtual Tour we invite you to visit this link so you can watch from home. The link will be active through Sunday, September 19. https://www.911memorial.org/demand-tours PASSWORD: NC9DNVWe also want to give a BIG THANK YOU to the other groups and individuals who helped make these Patriot Day events possible:Lingling (Rachel) Zhang, Arrow Twin TheatreLynn Allen, Brown County Historical SocietyWilliam Geisendorf, Hiawatha Family DentistryBrad Unruh & Monte Unruh, Jackrabbit CoffeeLauren Lock, McDonald’sMatt Bartlett, SonicJoan Stoller, American Heritage Girls Troop #KS2315Laura Hooper, Scout Troop #313Matthew Leahy, Hiawatha High ArtKarie Covert, Hiawatha Middle ArtMike Dunaway, Zion Lutheran ChurchRichard Lehmkuhl, Eternal HopeSteve Stoller, Sabetha Thrivent FinancialSpencer Madison, vocalistSarah Kleopfer, vocalistJudy Bruning, pianistJoey May, Hiawatha WorldHorton HeadlightHiawatha Kiwanis ClubBrown County CommissionersHiawatha City CommissionersBrown County Home GuardBlake Ezra Burton Memorial FundSubmitted by: Brown County Liberty Alliance – Patriot Day CommitteeJerry & Jeanette AllerStuart & Amanda AllerLucas & Kendra HeinenBrian & Annette Hoskins

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