Providing vital information and resources to frontline professionals, 911 dispatchers also importantly provide a single point of contact for people seeking immediate relief in an emergency. They are the first, first responders.
In recognition of those who answer emergency calls, dispatching EMTs, police and firefighters who render lifesaving assistance to citizens, April 12-18 is National Public Safety Tele-Communicator Week.
The importance of local 911 dispatchers is heightened during the global pandemic.
Culpeper County Public Safety Communications Center is participating in the honorary week sponsored by the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials, according to a news release from Director William Martin Jr.
“We are honoring these men and women in our area for the work that they do every day to protect the citizens of the town and county of Culpeper, Virginia,” the release stated. “Tele-communicators are the backbone of emergency services—the first, first responders, but never more so than during the pandemic COVID-19.
“While most people are staying home and teleworking, tele-communicators are going to work, putting the community first.”
Like many 911 centers, Culpeper dispatch, located next to the sheriff’s office off of Route 229, is on lock down with no one but employees allowed in or out, according to Martin. Due to the pandemic, local officials will hold a more robust week of celebration recognizing the initial frontline workers at a later date.
Culpeper County E911 has current staffing of 17 people, including Martin and Deputy Director Jenny Rosenfeld. Martin said there are nine vacancies, and interviews scheduled, in the center at which dispatchers work 12-hour shifts, including alternate day/night shifts every two months for some employees.