Honoring some of the unsung heroes of public safety – National Telecommunicators Week

"Police Call 9-1-1" by 149561324@N03, CC BY 2.0

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): This week has been designated as National Telecommunicators week, and has been set aside to honor dispatchers and telecommunications specialists in the public safety sector.

Fort Wayne and Allen County are served by a state of the art dispatch and communications facility under what is known as the Consolidated Communications Partnership. 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year, the center is staffed by a minimum of 13 highly trained, skilled professionals who have to be ready in a split-second to deal with the unknown. Not only are no two days ever alike, often, no two minutes are alike.

Dispatchers answer telephone calls for non-emergency service and emergencies alike. Public safety dispatchers are the first contact for police, fire and medics in emergency situations, and have to immediately discern what is happening, the assets needed for response and mitigating factors in an emergency. Not only are they responsible for getting the right people responding, they also have to find out information to keep responding units from becoming casualties themselves. The responsibility is tremendous to say the least.

They are the link between a situation, often as it is unfolding, and responding police, fire and medical units. As the situation evolves, the dispatcher has to ask the right questions and obtain and relay information with speed and accuracy. One failure can lead to lost lives.

In addition to emergency and non-emergency calls, dispatchers also confirm warrants and relay information, from vehicle and driver’s license information to business and personal contact information.

In addition to the Consolidated Communications Partnership, Allen County is also served by the Indiana State Police, which has a dedicated dispatch staff of its own.

Many of the cities in counties around the region have their own dispatch staffs. Rural counties often have one or two dispatchers that cover the entire Sheriff, police, fire and emergency medical communication for that county.

For the dispatcher, the front line may be different than units in the field, but it’s no less right out front, engaged in one mission. Keeping us all safe.

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