Click for more... Next week, April 11th – 17th is the nationally recognized Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week long event was created by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, California in 1981.
Photo 1: Deputy Ciera Federly (1 year), Deputy Stephanie Bieneck (22 years), Deputy Tammy Cook (3 years), Deputy Marissa Scheffler (5 years), Captain Lea Sterry (18 years) and Deputy Tasha Davis (6 years)
This special week is a time to commemorate the hard working individuals in our emergency telecommunication centers who dispatch our officers and first responders in our greatest time of need.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definitions of dispatch is, “to send off or away with promptness or speed,” more specifically, “to send off on official business.” This seems effortless and simple, doesn’t it? Though this is methodically correct, it does not come close to defining the strength, courage and determination it takes to be a public safety telecommunicator (dispatcher).
Photo 2: Back row (l-r) Deputy Marie Downs (4 months), Deputy Kelly Schmitz (3 years), Deputy Tara Strey (10 years), Deputy Heather Murphy (20 years), and Captain Lea Sterry (18 years). Front row (l-r): Deputy Stephanie Werre (2 months) and Deputy Tabitha Sazama (5 years)
This profession plays an integral role in serving and keeping our community safe. These are the individuals we depend on during traumatic and emergency situations. The distinctive characteristics needed to proficiently and effectively perform these duties are found in very few. It requires an individual who has unprecedented communication skills, sound judgement, compassion and emotional control. Most of all, they have to have perseverance as they know after servicing one call, there will always be another and there is no way to prepare for what is to come.
I would like everyone to remember the next time you read the paper or watch the news displaying the officers and first responders who are courageously working to save the life of a loved one or find a missing child…that it all began with the silent, hidden and all too often forgotten HERO who was sitting in the telecommunications center waiting to take your call.
Because of this, I want to take a moment to thank our Clark County Telecommunicators for providing never ending, around the clock support to all of our citizens and anyone traveling through our county. I thank them for the lives they have saved and will continue save. For the positive impact they have on our county each and every day. And for choosing this profession as there are very few in the world that can do what they do! I am proud and honored to work with each and every one of them.
If you happen to see one of these devoted individuals out and about, please take the time to honor and thank them for the extraordinary and underestimated duties they perform.