Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Appreciation Week 2015

Every year, the second full week of April (April 12th-18th, 2015) is recognized as a time to honor hard-working telecommunicators throughout the country. Telecommunicators are defined as individuals who work for an emergency service provider (usually 9-1-1) and are qualified to answer incoming emergency telephone calls and provide for the appropriate emergency response. These individuals have a tough job where they work with the public in high stress situations to get help to those in need, which is why they deserve to be honored and recognized for their dedication and hard work!

If you have ever dialed 9-1-1 to get help in an accident or an emergency, then a telecommunicator has been on the phone to collect your information and get you help. A person who is a telecommunicator must be patient, strong, understanding and work well under intense pressure or stressful situations.  During this week agencies, elected officials and citizens are honoring 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers for their efforts in making emergency services run smoothly and efficiently to ensure citizens safety. 

Back in 1990, Congress designated this week to recognizing telecommunicators for their service and we ask that you do the same! If you see a telecommunicator or you know someone who works as a call-taker or dispatcher, reach out to them and take the time to let them know that they are appreciated for all the time and effort they put into making 9-1-1 what it is today.

Below is a proclamation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott recognizing and honoring telecommunicators this week. Share your stories with us on how you appreciated your call-takers and dispatchers and we will share them in our next blog! Below are some activities going on during Telecommunicator week:

APCO Offers Free Webinar in Celebration of NPSTW: In celebration of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and to honor those who do the frontline job every day, APCO Institute is offering a FREE training webinar entitled “Dispatch Danger Zones.”  The webinar will take place Wednesday, April 15, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Register here.

Ark-Texas Council of Governments: They will present each telecommunicator with a small insulated zippered 9-1-1 ATCOG portable cooler with a large insulated 9-1-1 mug, insulated drink holder with a drawstring and attached carbineer with our 9-1-1 logo imprinted, 9-1-1 logo tote bag, and several small 9-1-1 items. Each dispatcher will also be presented with a nice certificate of appreciation.
El Paso County 9-1-1:
They will be purchasing cell phone power banks in a travel case that says “NEVER UNDERSTIMATE THE POWER OF THE TELECOMMUNICATOR” and doing a decorating contest with that theme.  The winner will get mentioned in their next newsletter!

York County 9-1-1: They celebrate Telecommunicator’s Week each year at their PSAP with a week of fun activities. They have theme days such as a sports day where they wear their favorite sports team shirt, have hot dogs and peanuts in the shell to eat. They also have different activities during this week such as crossword puzzles, movie trivia, scavenger hunts, and much more. They will finish the week with an awards ceremony for the Telecommunicator of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, and Admin Support Person of the Year.

El Paso-Teller E911 Authority: This year during 9-1-1 Education Month, they will be doing 30 minute presentations about 9-1-1 (with the help of Cell Phone Sally "Getting Help is Easy") to 1st grade classes. They will leave each student with an activity book about 9-1-1, and a Cell Phone Sally Poster for the classroom's wall.