On April 10, Mayor Norm Archibald proclaimed April 13 through 19 Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The following is that statement:
The many men and women who serve as our public safety telecommunicators - our 9-1-1 operators and dispatchers- are dedicated to saving lives and respond daily to the citizens of our city in times of great need. They are the vital link between the person in need and the public safety provider.
The Commission on State Emergency Communications works with local and state governments to ensure reliable access to emergency telecommunications services. The commission annually designates a week in April to highlight the invaluable role of public safety telecommunicators.
As Mayor, I am pleased to proclaim April 13-19, 2014, “Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” in recognition our men and women whose diligence and professionalism help keep our community and citizens safe.
The Abilene Police Department also sent out a statement which details not only the number of calls taken, but detailing how these calls directly affected the community and assisted the police force in protecting and serving the people of Abilene.
Every day, and no matter where we are, Public Safety Dispatchers stand in the gap by providing an essential community service to our citizens in need. When a life threatening situation occurs, when our loved ones are endangered, or when we struggle with a calamity that occurs before our eyes, we depend on and expect that our emergency calls will be answered and first responders dispatched. The week of April 13 – 19th is a time set aside to highlight the invaluable role of public safety telecommunicators.
Recognizing our dispatchers during Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is just one way of saying thanks for being the “unseen first responders.” Their duty, sacrifice and contributions are noteworthy and I commend the men and women serving as Public Safety Dispatchers for their 24/7 perseverance. Without them providing their professional services, our mission to “Serve Those We Protect” would be greatly hindered.
I share these facts from year 2013 for your consideration: our call-takers and dispatchers handled approximately 330,388 calls, including 81,715 9-1-1 calls. These calls resulted in 178,267 police-related events and 18,468 fire-related events. We know that crisis comes in many forms during an emergency. In 2013, the calls-for-service handled by the 9-1-1 call center included 85 events involving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and 71 events involving childbirth or pregnancy related complications.
Because of their dedicated service as public safety professionals, untold lives and situations requiring urgent intervention were directly impacted. Daily, these first-line emergency communication and response dispatchers provide exemplary services that meet the ever demanding needs of our growing community.
I am thankful that when lives are in crisis, you know the number to dial. Please join me in recognizing a wonderful staff making a difference through their service to you! It takes six months to train a dispatcher, but it only takes a second to thank them.