National Telecommunicators Week

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This is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and dispatchers and calltakers across the country will be recognized for their dedicated work. The true first first responders, 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers are the front lines, manning the phones and radios 24/7/365. The central clearing point for every emergency service organization, telecommunicators are the ones who receive calls from the public, often when an emergency is in progress, gather information, determine which resources to send, and dispatch those resources, sometimes all at the same time.

This week, the central valley dispatch centers will host a Dispatcher Appreciation Banquet, in Fresno. Dispatchers of the Year will be recognized by each agency, usually selected by the winner’s peers.

Often the only time the public hears anything about dispatchers is when something goes wrong. They seldom hear of the daily operations that save lives and property, the apprehension of criminals, and the discharge of routine services to the public. In thousands of 9-1-1 dispatch centers around the nation, and other centers around the world, dispatchers and call takers keep essential services running smoothly and efficiently, while working nights, weekends, holidays, and even during inclement weather that keeps everything else from moving.

A tip of my headset (coming up on 23 years as a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office) to all my peers. They really couldn’t do it without you.

Disclaimer: Not an official statement of any kind from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. See their Facebook page for the TCSO tribute to 9-1-1 dispatchers, here.

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