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Spokane firefighters no longer have their own communications center. Nov. 1—After years of resistance from the firefighters union and the City Council, Spokane has joined the regional emergency communications system that answers every 911 call made in the county. READ...
Ingham County is adopting a new translation service to help non-English speakers make emergency 911 calls. “Nowhere is it probably more important than a 911 center where you really have to have someone immediately,” said District 5 Ingham County Commissioner Todd...
A 16-year-old girl working at a McDonald’s in New Orleans called 911 from the freezer to report an armed robbery — and discovered her mother was on the other end of the call.
CONCORD, CALIF. – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District today announced its Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center has earned accreditation by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch for excellence in medical dispatching. READ FULL...
WORTHINGTON — When a call comes in to the 911 dispatch center at the Prairie Justice Center in Worthington, the emergency services dispatcher never knows what they might encounter on the other end of the line.
What’s next for 9-1-1?Natchitoches Parish has a state-of-the-art facility, well trained dispatchers and staff and an excellent call answering record. So what is next?In this age of constantly changing technology, the 911 NATCOM center must keep up to ensure the...
On Oct. 26, 18 members of the campus community graduated from the first Department of Public Safety (DPS) community police academy. The academy is a free four-week program designed to give students, faculty and staff an idea of what it is like to protect and serve the...
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said a “higher priority dispatch” was sent to the residence of Paul Pelosi because of the 911 operator’s “intuition” that there was “something more to the incident than what she was being told.”
All calls for emergency services (Police, Fire, EMS) are processed through a unified communications center. The communications center houses both Spokane Regional Emergency Communication employees (SREC) and SPD dispatchers. The change comes as both SPD and SREC seek...
The K-State Police Department went live with a new Next Generation 911 system on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and became the 105th Public Safety Answering Point to do so, Jason Blackburn, KSU Police Department communication operations coordinator, said. “It is advanced...
First responders are at the core of our communities. Emergency medical officials treat those in pain. Firefighters carry victims to safety. Emergency managers marshal resources. 9-1-1 call takers field distress calls day and night. Law enforcement officials make sure...
The Danbury Police Department family mourns the unexpected passing of dispatcher Martin Robert "Bob" Nelson on October 24, 2022. Since 2014 Bob has worked for the IXP Corporation, the company contracted to provide public safety dispatching services for the City. He...
Caller placed approximately 143 calls, tied up sheriff’s dispatch line for three hours GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that Jonathan Joshua Munafo, 35, most recently of Winter Park, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District...
The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT)—a key association of 911 vendors—expressed support for $15 billion in federal funding of next-generation 911 (NG911) deployments throughout the U.S., as well as borrowing authority to ensure that monies...
STAMFORD — Stamford’s police union says it intends to file a complaint to the state Board of Labor Relations after the city this month stopped stationing a sergeant at its 911 communications center to supervise dispatchers during midnight and weekend shifts, calling...
SANDPOINT — Amber Lindsey originally wanted to be a police officer. An injury derailed those plans prompting her to switch her plans to dentistry. It was then a friend told her about a position at Bonner County Dispatch. Lindsey, then 20, got the job where she has...
The City of Austin is planning to make salary adjustments leading to more pay for some existing 911 Call Takers and Police Dispatcher staff to address pay compression that resulted from the recent Living Wage increase. These efforts, combined with stipends and the...
Effective immediately, the Winchester Emergency Communications Center will be using a new technology, Prepared Live, which allows 911 callers to share a livestream from their locations with the dispatch center and provide "eyes-on-scene" capability. The Winchester...
FLORENCE — Florence County 911 Central Dispatch recently was named SC APCO/NENA 911 Center of the Year at the annual SC APCO/NENA Conference in Myrtle Beach.
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911 dispatcher calls Chicago a place that ‘caters strictly to criminals who target the innocent’ [VIDEO] (IL)
I have learned that The Ipswich Public Safety Dispatch Center is being threatened and in danger of being shut down thus closing our police station. The Ipswich Dispatch Center is staffed by highly qualified, trained and dedicated men and women. The idea of outsourcing...
Samantha Hawkins Every 911 operator has that call that will demand more of them than usual … this was mine. I was the second 911 operator she had spoken with that morning. Only six minutes into our phone conversation on that 911 line, I had determined that she very...
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...
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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