It’s National Dispatcher Week!

by Safety Connection

This week is National Dispatcher Week! These FIRST first responders work quietly behind the scenes to make sure police, fire and EMS services arrive quickly when you call 911.

Dane County has more than 70 call takers and dispatchers who spend 14 weeks in training and provide service to more than 75 agencies. Dane County 911 has the longest probation in the country (other than the Dane County Sheriff’s Department), and their attrition rate for this difficult job is 16% compared to the national average of 20%.

Here’s more information from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office:

Today marks the beginning of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 11-17), or for short, National Dispatcher Week! Since 1981 this week has been set aside to formally recognize the difficult work and dedication of Public Safety Dispatchers around the country.

Did you know that there are more than 6,000 Public Safety Answering Points (a call center responsible for answering 911 calls) in the United States? In each of those 6,000+ communications centers thousands of Public Safety professionals dedicate their lives to helping others.

In Dane County a dedicated group of more than 70 Communicators are the heard but rarely seen heroes on the other end of your 911 call, or a police officer’s radio. They are the calm, reassuring, and caring voice one hears when they are in distress and need help from 911. The job they do each and every day is not an easy job, the calls they receive are mostly heartbreaking, but it’s their voices in the darkness that give hope to those who call.

Emergency Communications is not a job: It is a personal commitment of minds and talents to benefit the people we serve. It is a higher calling, with tremendous responsibility that demands personal sacrifice, not for self-interest, but for the common good of all people. It is a calling not suited for everyone, but we have chosen it as ours.

Visit again soon for a practical and free way you can help make dispatchers’ jobs better.

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