Dispatchers honored during NPST Week
Published 3:00 am Friday, April 15, 2016
The City of Troy is celebrating the week of April 10-16 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week by proclamation of Mayor Jason A. Reeves of the City of Troy.
The mayor said the proclamation is one of many around the nation that honors the thousands of men and women, who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment and render life saving assistance.
Reeves expressed appreciation to the emergency responders who were present for the signing of the proclamation and those not present who respond with care, compassion and professionalism in emergency situations on behalf of the city.
“My dad, Grady Reeves, was the chief of police in Troy so I grew up in all this,” Reeves said. “Now, as a husband and father, I am even more knowledgeable and appreciative of what you do for all of us. Dispatchers and 911 operators don’t get good calls. I know that. The City of Troy depends on you more than you know and we appreciate you more than you know.”
National Public Safety Telecommunications Weeks honors everyone involved from the first moment a call is connected to a public safety answering point until the last line has disconnected and help has arrived.
Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is only a small token of appreciation for the important and, often critical, role that dispatchers and 911 operators play in the community.
“These people are the first contact the public has with the police whether it’s keys locked in the car or an emergency situation,” Barr said.
“When the phone rings, they never know what’s on the other end. So much depends on how the dispatchers handle the calls.”
Barr said the tone of the dispatcher’s voice can make a difference.
He said a clam, reassuring voice can have a steadying effect while a loud and anxious tone could heighten the situation.
“Depending on how it’s handled, the call can go either way,” Barr said.
Dispatchers are challenged with relaying critical information to police officers and emergency personnel.
“Dispatchers are the eyes and ears to the unknown,” Barr said.
“They don’t know exactly what the situation is when they dispatch the officers. And, the officers to be dispatched could be working at several different locations, so dispatchers have to know where the officers are at all times.
“Decisions have to be made quickly. Dispatchers have to be able to multi-task. They have a tough job and we have dispatchers on the job for us 24-7. They are strong people and they do a good job for us 24-7. I appreciate what they do. I want them to know that.”
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is sponsored annually by the Association of Public-Safety Communication Officials International.