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Support a Fully Operational Public Safety Broadband Network Using 4.9 GHz Public safety requires a dedicated radio and broadband spectrum to perform our duties in protecting the public. We depend on this spectrum for our radio systems and for our broadband data...
By Jeff Bratcher, Chief Network and Technology Officer, First Responder Network Authority This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11. In the aftermath of that tragedy, the public safety community pushed for its own dedicated network...
News & Articles
Over time, the Columbia County Emergency 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Department, as it’s officially known, has increasingly become the nerve center for emergency response in Columbia County. As director of 9-1-1 Rob Lopez says, “The 9-1-1 center is basically...
Millersville, MD (Arundel.News & AAFA)- A former police dispatch operator for the Anne Arundel County Police Department will face felony theft charges after being caught training for another agency while on the county's dime. 27 year old Brandy Quarles of...
Oct. 12—Law enforcement officers and 911 dispatchers have begun to receive training on the dispatch center's Computer Aided Dispatch system, which is scheduled to go online on Nov. 16. Paul Nave, the city and county's 911 center director, said dispatchers have been...
NENA: The 911 Association yesterday announced that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) fully approved the third—and latest—version of i3, the IP-based NENA standard for next-generation 911 (NG911) networking and core services. Earlier this year, the fact...
"911, what’s your emergency?” Thousands of Oklahomans call emergency services throughout the year. Most of us are familiar with the steady voice that greets us and offers reassurance and direction during a crisis – and for many, emergency...
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — People calling 9-1-1 in B.C. in recent days have had to wait up to five minutes for their calls to be answered, and there are conflicting explanations as to why this is happening. The Emergency Communications Professionals of BC, the union...
Audio of a 911 call in Canada reveals what may be the most innocuous “emergency” ever. “I have to pee,” a caller tells an incredulous dispatcher in a 911 call posted to Twitter on Friday by Peel Regional Police near Toronto in southern Ontario. In the 38-second audio...
ALBUQUERQUE — Elisha Lucero was known in her family as a painter, a fisherwoman and a caretaker who had put aside her ambitions to nurse relatives through bouts of poor health. She was also gripped by mental illness, and on a summer’s night in 2019, the 28-year-old...
MARTINSBURG -- Jen Swisher, 9-1-1 Director, came before the Berkeley County Council on Thursday to give an emergency communications update after her first year in the position and to recognize dispatchers who assisted citizens in delivering their babies. According...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It was an Amber Alert this week that got everyone's attention, with a woman wanted for questioning for allegedly taking a car with a baby inside. The car was found just a few hours after the alert was issued, with the 1-year-old safe inside....
PRINCE GEORGE – We don’t hear about them often, but they are the first of the first responders who come to your aid when you’re in trouble. Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher? Did you know that Prince George is the main dispatch hub for...
Pay increases are coming to officers and telecommunicators with the Fayetteville Police Department early next year after council members were satisfied with a presentation at their work session that showed wages in the city are below those at neighboring law...
Emergency medical service providers across the U.S. are sounding the alarm that the shortage of medical workers has hit "crisis" levels in many areas, warning Congress that the problem is getting to the point that it is threatening the 911 system. The...
VANCOUVER — As winter weather approaches, North Vancouver RCMP emergency dispatcher Jodie Cohan is encouraging all British Columbians, especially those who venture into the backcountry, to download geolocation technology called What3Words. The free app divides the...
BANGOR — When you call for help, 911 dispatchers are often the first ones to be notified about a problem. Dispatchers said the job can take a toll on your mental health. “911 what’s the address of your emergency?” The Penobscot Regional Communications Center is a...
"Right shoulder," a deputy could be heard saying to a 911 dispatcher. "...gunshot..." Static noise covered some of the words of the deputy describing the condition of a man injured in a shooting at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds on Sep. 19 to the dispatcher....
Work continues on the construction of Shenandoah County’s new public safety radio system as county staff eagerly await its completion. Gary Yew, the county’s former fire chief and the radio system project manager, said during a phone interview last week that five of...
Rendering via Settembrino Architects of Atlantic Highlands RIVER VALE—The average township homeowner likely will see an approximate $185 annual property tax increase over 30 years due to the $13.3 million bonding necessary for a proposed one-story, 18,000-square-foot...
Most community members know to call 911 in case of an emergency. But who picks up the phone on the other end? That’s the work of our incredible dispatch team at the Longmont Emergency Communications Center (LECC). This week we were lucky enough to sit down with...
ST. LOUIS– St. Louis officials are in the process of merging the city’s police, fire, and EMS emergency operations into one call center. It is part of a plan that officials hope will reduce hold time for 911 calls and address a dispatcher shortage. The city says its...
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12PM - The Big Lead // GUEST: Former Sheriff John Urquhart defends the 911 dispatcher on Sherman's wife's call, explains procedure and training // Gov. Inslee says everything is climate change // Twitter upset with us for airing 911 call [PODCAST]
On April 20 at approximately 11 a.m. a 73-year-old woman fell at her home on County Road 109 (Oakland Hills). After falling she was able to get herself to her cell phone and placed a call to 911. Upon making contact with the dispatch center for American Medical...
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
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,
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
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.
We Speak Dispatch is a group of 911 professionals discussing topics from the headlines, topics that are fun and interesting, topics that you care about. Our engaging conversations are designed to inspire more conversations, so if you have a topic you’d like to see...
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...
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...
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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