Behind every emergency lies that dispatcher who took the call. Without dispatchers to coordinate a public safety response, no one would have made it to the house fire on main street. Public safety is indeed a team sport: fire, EMS, and police work in unison to ensure that all citizens stay safe. Sadly, dispatchers are often left out of the praise. Much of the praise is given to those who operate in the field over those who coordinate the response effort. Dispatchers seldom receive the spotlight for the heroic things they did, like talking a frantic caller out of suicide or obtaining the proper identification of a suspect.
This week is Telecommunicators’ Week. It is your time to take the spotlight! Embrace being a dispatcher and know that without you, public safety would fall apart. Dispatchers are the backbone to the public safety mechanism. You are in charge of sending the right help to the correct location. Without you, no police would get to that domestic violence emergency, the car crash on the interstate wouldn’t receive assistance from the fire department, and the heart attack victim would die in their home because EMS was never made aware of the incident.
At DSS, we want to extend a thank you to all the dispatchers who work tirelessly to keep us safe day in and day out. Without all of you, we know that 9-1-1 calls would never be answered. The job of dispatching is by no means an easy one, and recent studies have suggested that dispatchers are just as prone to PTSD as first responders. As dispatchers, have each other’s backs. Congratulate coworkers on calls that were taken well. Give a nice complement, a high five, or an email to the entire agency to show everyone what a good job your co-workers have done. While this is Telecommunicators’ Week, you do not have to wait till April to acknowledge your dispatchers for their hard work and services.
After the week of celebration is over, remember to check out our Learning on Demand class list at http://www.equature.com/learning-on-demand/ in order to gain cutting edge knowledge on how to keep your citizens and first responders safe. Remember, you never know what is waiting on the other side of that ringing phone. Given the vast possibilities of emergencies, dispatchers need a versatile education to effectively combat these.