April 9-15, 2017, marks National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. Each year the 2nd week of April is recognized as National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week. This week is a nationally recognized time for citizens and co-workers alike to show their appreciation for the field of professionals in the field of Public Safety Communications.
Telecommunicators Week was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create “National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.” According to congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994 and then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction.
Here’s to the hidden heroes, the calming voice during the storm, often heard but never seen. It takes a special person to be the voice of reason when lives are on the line, to take control in an emergency situation using just a telephone, to get the right kind of help to the right location, to give lifesaving instructions that make a difference. Every minute, every day, 9-1-1 professionals answer the call, staying on the line until help arrives.
As the first person on the scene of every crime, fire and medical emergency, the 9-1-1 dispatcher continues to be an invaluable resource. Please join the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in saluting our team of dedicated professionals, to bring much deserved honor and recognition to our emergency communications family.