Celebrating Telecommunicators Appreciation Week

Published 9:06 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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The City of Suffolk held a special presentation to honor members of their Public Safety Telecommunications department.

During Suffolk City Council’s meeting held on Wednesday, April 3, Mayor Michael D. Duman honored the Suffolk 911 Center in observance of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Appreciation Week, occurring on April 14 through April 20. Suffolk City Clerk Erika S. Dawley read the proclamation.

“Whereas emergencies that require police, fire or emergency medical services can occur at any time. Whereas when a crisis happens, the prompt response of police officers, firefighters and paramedics is critical to the protection of life and to the preservation of property,” Dawley read. “And whereas the welfare of our public safety employees is dependent upon the quality and the accuracy of information obtained from residents who contact the Public Safety Telecommunicators – who are often the first interaction that citizens have with the emergency services.”

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Dawley continued.

“Now, therefore, I, Michael D. Duman, Mayor of the City of Suffolk, do hereby proclaim April 14, 2024, through April 20, 2024, as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in Suffolk, Virginia and call upon all residents to support this worthwhile observance.”

Both Lt. Sandra Springle of the 911 Center and Interim Chief James Buie accepted the proclamation from Duman. Buie provided remarks on the center’s recognition.

“Our dispatchers are true first responders,” Buie said. “These men and women take the calls – these frantic calls – every day, hundreds of them a week. They maintain their composure. They lead us as police officers working the street in the right direction, [keeping] us out of harm’s way. So, whenever we think of first responders, then the first thing that should come to our mind are dispatchers because they’re the ones that take it first and they keep us all safe along the way.”

Springle expressed her thanks before providing remarks as well.

“National Telecommunicators Week is a time to honor and celebrate our 911 public safety professionals as they have dedicated their lives to serving the public, with an emphasis on our City of Suffolk,” Springle said. “The service they provide on a daily basis is like no other and can range from something as minor as a minor vehicle accident to a mother calling because their child is not breathing. They take these calls, they handle them very professionally, and offer the support that the caller needs.”

Prior to the presentation, Springle also shared comments on the recognition ahead of the appreciation week.

“It’s extremely important,” Springle said of the honor. “Our 911 professionals take every call in stride and continuously demonstrate their commitment to provide the very best care to our citizens and responders. The total calls that our 911 Center handled in 2023 was 171,699 calls – this includes incoming 911 calls, administrative calls and outgoing calls.”