Sunday, April 10 marked the beginning of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week 2022.
The event is observed every second week in April and is meant to recognize telecommunicators who help save millions of lives every day. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic defines public safety telecommunicators as 911 operators and fire dispatchers who answer emergency and nonemergency calls and provide resources to assist those in need. These operators act as the first line of communication between people who call 911 and the officers, paramedics, and firefighters who respond.
“We are excited to celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunication Week! Our amazing employees are the front-liners for all communications in emergencies services. They are the first people you speak to when you dial 911 they work with you and coordinate police, fire, and EMS to get help as quick as possible to those in need,” said County Council Chairman Brown Patterson. “Without them there we would not be able to dispatch for emergencies. I am personally extremely thankful for all they do for the citizens of the great community.”
While not on the streets during emergencies, dispatchers must be prepared for any type of situation ranging from a person needing information, to a car crash, to a medical emergency.
“The dispatch center is our source of information and, most importantly, our life line,” said Sheriff Don Reynolds. “The working relationship we have is very important and we appreciate what they do.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “there are about 9,800 openings for public safety telecommunicators are projected each year, on average, over the decade.” Here in Colorado Springs, there are plenty of openings for people looking to serve their community and to provide help in dire situations.
How to help local dispatchers
If you ever need help and find yourself on the phone with a dispatcher, there are a few things you can do to make their job easier and make sure you get help as soon as possible.
•Know your address (and make sure your children know it, too)
•Look around you for landmarks, street signs, or other easily identified points
The need for emergency dispatchers is increasing at a steady rate. More than 240 million emergency calls are made to dispatchers every year in the U.S. They play a vital role in connecting those in need with the appropriate emergency service. This week we say “thank you” for doing such an important job.