This week has been set aside for us to recognize our 9-1-1 Dispatchers here at CRESA and to celebrate National Telecommunicators Week April 9th – 15th.
Our Dispatchers work long hours; at times, 14-hour days serving 25 different police, fire and medical response agencies in Clark County. Last year our Dispatchers received and processed over 408,000 calls; approximately one call every 78 seconds.
Dispatchers are the First – “First-Responders”. They provide the critical link and the “calm voice” between the community and the responding agencies sent to the scene. Dispatchers provide information to the responding units while reassuring and directing the caller what to do.
It has been noted in the past, a 911 dispatcher is asked to wear many hats and to switch roles at a moment’s notice as needed. Roles include everything from: Teacher, Coach, Counselor, Researcher, Geography expert, Negotiator, Resource Manager or “mom”, to name a few.
As an industry, we ask a lot of these dedicated individuals while expecting them to get it right each and every time. We ask them to gather information from scared, frantic or angry citizens, who often don’t know where they are; type everything into a computer aided dispatch system; determine a priority and dispatch the appropriate help; continue gathering information while listening for calling responders; pass hazard information along to Police, Fire and EMS personnel, switching quickly from one task to the next.
Our Dispatchers are passionate and take their responsibilities seriously. They are driven to do well and care personally about the citizens, officers, fire fighters and medics they serve. It takes a special type of individual to handle the long hours, multi-tasking and emotional toll it takes to keep the citizens and first responders of Clark County safe. This is the life of a public safety telecommunicator, or more often known as the 911 dispatcher.
Our community is blessed with having some of the best in the industry and it is my honor to be able to work on a daily basis with the women and men who sit behind the mic and serve as the First-“First Responders”, who are there 24 hours a day, seven days of the week, 365 days of the year.
Please join me this week to pause and take the opportunity to thank them for the great job they do each and every day.
Dave Fuller, Director
Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency