Emergency dispatchers receive overdue thanks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 22, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Suffolk’s &uot;911&uot; emergency communications dispatchers are as near to callers as the telephone 24-7, and although they are an award winning team of emergency response operators, they are never recognized in public – hardly ever publicly thanked.

Sgt. John J. &uot;JJ&uot; Marx, communications supervisor of the 911 division of the Suffolk Police Department, said that while most people would never recognize a 911 dispatcher out in public, the dedicated dispatchers are the person first in line to speak with anyone who dials 911 to seek emergency assistance.

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&uot;They never see these people and although they help the public all day long every day, no one has a clue as to the compassion and generosity of spirit they exhibit on a daily basis,&uot; said Marx. &uot;I am very pleased that the city has offered this recognition of them and they are completely deserving of all honor.&uot;

Marx was speaking of the special luncheon and a proclamation from Mayor E. Dana Dickens III, recognizing the 911 communicators for their excellent work and dedication to the service of others.

Dickens was unable to attend the award ceremony held at Police Headquarters on Market Street; Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett presented the city’s Proclamation to the 911 Dispatchers during the luncheon given in their honor. The document designated the week as &uot;National Communications Week&uot; and it sets aside this time to honor Suffolk’s 20 dispatchers.

Bennett pointed out that the dispatchers provide accurate and immediate information to police, fire and rescue personnel as need to respond to emergencies in the city. The dispatchers were also commended for their assistance in criminal apprehensions, suspension of fires, and emergency treatment of patients.

&uot;This is an opportunity to acknowledge the compassion, understanding and professionalism of our public safety dispatchers,&uot; said Bennett. &uot;We are truly pleased to be able to honor this fine group of public servants.&uot;

Suffolk’s Police Chief William A. Freeman also offered praise to the dispatchers, telling the vice mayor and their sergeant that officers, command staff and other fire and rescue personnel greatly depend upon the dispatchers,

&uot;I’d like to thank you for what you do on a daily basis, without recognition, year after year after year,&uot; said the chief. &uot;Undoubtedly, it’s a very strenuous job but you all manage to turn it into a labor of love when you have the opportunity to save someone’s life. We truly do appreciate all that you do.&uot;