National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 2019
Laurens County E-911 celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week during the week of April 14-20, 2019. Each year, the month of April is designated as 911 Education Month, with the second full week being dedicated to the dispatchers. This idea originated in 1981 by Patricia Anderson from the Contra Coasta County (CA) Sheriff’s Office, who dedicated this week for the recognition of the “First” First Responders.
The Laurens County E-911 Center is excited to show our appreciation of the men and women who work behind the scenes serving the citizens of Laurens County. “We have one of the most modern, and technologically advanced 911 Centers, but what truly makes us stand out are the employees who staff the Center,” says Bryan Rogers, Laurens County Administrator.
Shannon Rackers, who is a dispatcher, describes her experiences at 911, “There are so many layers to being a 911 dispatcher. We are the first point of contact for someone potentially having the worst day of their life. We hear the unforgettable cries and screams for help, and react quickly to get police, fire, or EMS to them as fast as possible. We also have a huge responsibility communicating and checking on our officers, paramedics, and firefighters while they are on scene of a call. Our job is to make sure they return home safely to their own families each night. We are the first to receive the call, and the last to know the outcome. We are 911.”
The Center has a staff of only 22 employees who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They answer all emergency and non-emergency calls for the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, Laurens County EMS, Laurens County Rural Fire Department, Dublin Police Department, Dublin Fire Department, East Dublin Police Department, East Dublin Fire Department, and Dublin/Laurens County Animal Control. Each dispatcher undergoes rigorous, and on-going training to be able to assist with those in their time of need.
“Dispatchers tend to witness the most challenging parts of people’s lives and that can be tough, both mentally and emotionally. The Laurens County Commissioners can’t say enough about the vital role they play in our community. The recognition they get during this week allows us to show dispatchers a fraction of the appreciation we feel for their efforts,” said Trae Kemp, Chairman of the Laurens County Board of Commissioners.
“While dispatchers are not often seen as first responders, during an emergency, our dispatchers are the first public safety contact made during the incident. They experience the same emotions as the responders on the scene. They experience the callers cries for help, and they attempt to keep them calm while delivering lifesaving pre-arrival instructions; that could be talking someone through the birth of a child, giving CPR instructions to someone attempting to save the life of a family member, or providing first aid instructions prior to the arrival of responders,” stated Russ Palmer, Director of Laurens County E-911. “The men and women on duty at the 911 Center are truly dedicated to serving alongside the other Public Safety agencies in the county. It is my absolute pleasure to work with this great group of staff, as they truly are the unsung heroes of Laurens County. ”
There currently is legislation being processed through Congress to reclassify Public Safety Telecommunicators (Dispatchers) into the classification of Public Safety Responders. To help show your appreciation for the hard work and dedication our staff provides, we ask that you take a moment and contact your Senators and Representative to support the 911 Saves Act. There is a link on our website and social media page that includes a prewritten message that may be used.
Anyone interested in showing their appreciation may send thank you cards to the 911 Center, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.