National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week recognized

Published 5:38 pm Friday, April 9, 2021

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The Suffolk Police Department and Suffolk Fire & Rescue are celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 11-17.

In 1991, a Congressional resolution designated the second full week in April each year as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Since that time, public safety agencies nationwide have recognized telecommunicators, dispatchers, communication operators, and radio control personnel for the critical role they play in public safety. It is a week where everyone can celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public.

In 2020, Suffolk’s dispatchers received a total of 169,624 calls, including 51,998 911 calls, 71,801 administrative calls, and 11 Text to 911 messages. The Text to 911 capability began in October 2020.

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Public safety dispatchers provide an important service to the community and all emergency personnel while performing their duties with integrity, quality, accountability and respect.  As the first person on the scene of nearly every crime, fire and medical emergency, the 911 dispatcher continues to be an invaluable resource for agencies of all sizes. These knowledgeable and highly trained individuals help save countless lives by answering emergency and non-emergency calls, dispatching law enforcement, medical and fire professionals and equipment, and providing support to citizens in distress — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Their work during this pandemic continues to be even more vital due to additional screening questions asked of callers regarding medical issues and potential exposure to COVID-19 so that first responders are aware in advance of any additional precautions that should be made — not only for themselves, but also for the citizens that are in need of emergency services.