- Published on Monday, 09 April 2012 11:43
- Written by Gary MacNamara
Everyday citizens call 911 to request help from police, fire departments and emergency medical services. Within minutes of that call emergency personnel arrive to render assistance for a wide range of emergencies and other situations. These responders are often seen as heroes by people in their communities. What the citizens often fail to see are the invisible, but extremely important, segment of the emergency services team, the 911 dispatcher. These dedicated and highly trained individuals are a key component of the emergency response team.
The second week of April is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. This was established to recognize all those public safety dispatchers who work round the clock to receive calls, gather needed information and send the appropriate rescuers. Without these individuals rescuers could not receive calls for service, request resources and conduct emergency operations.
In the Town of Fairfield the Emergency Communication Center employs 15 telecomminicators. These dispatchers are trained to answer calls from the public, make decisions as to what resources are needed and assist responders with response coordination. In addition they are trained to give instructions to callers on how to provide basic emergency medical care, steps to take before the arrival of emergency personnel and other important tasks.
The Emergency Communication Center is located at the police department and ECC personnel handle difficult, emotional and stressful situations daily. They provide a calming and professional voice to those people calling for help.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our emergency communications center personnel. Without them our emergency responders would not get the information they need to perform their duties. They work under stressful conditions and are often the forgotten link in the emergency services team.” said Captain Donald Smith of the Fairfield Police Department, supervisor of the emergency communications center. “All of Fairfield’s telecommunicators take their job seriously and the public needs to know the important role they play when help is needed.”
Please take a moment to pause and remember how "dial 911" is so ingrained in our memory and a big part of the lessons we teach our children. Then think for a moment about the people on the other end of that phone ready to get you the help you need. Sometimes we all forget their value.
Chief Gary MacNamara