Whether it’s a fire, robbery, medical or another personal emergency, there’s always someone to answer our call for help in our moment of need. We pick up the phone, make the call to 9-1-1, and listen to a voice that guides us through our crisis until responders arrive. While we may never see their faces or know their names, these public safety professionals are the vital link between law enforcement and emergency response personnel who come to our rescue.
This week, April 12-18, is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which honors the men and women who serve as 9-1-1 calltakers, emergency dispatchers, radio and phone technicians, and other communications staff. With over 6,000 Public Safety Answering Points in the United States, these public safety professionals dedicate their lives to helping other people when they need it most.
The idea for this recognition came from Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County, California, Sheriff’s Office in 1981. By the early 1990s, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials convinced the U.S. Congress of the need for a formal proclamation, designating the second full week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The proclamation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
As a technology provider that supports public safety telecommunicators and agencies around the world, we would like to say thank you to our friends in the public safety telecommunications industry for all of your hard work and dedication to the communities you serve. It is because of you that millions of Americans are able to get the care and protection they need in their most difficult moments.
If you would like to know more about the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, visit their website today.
John Whitehead is director of sales strategy for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure, U.S. He has more than 21 years of public safety experience, including 13 years at Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure (formerly Intergraph) and eight years at Jefferson County (Missouri) 911, where he served as Operations Manager. He served as a volunteer firefighter for 15 years and six years as Chairman of the Board for North Jefferson Ambulance District. A certified master presenter, Whitehead holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and an Associates Degree in Public Safety Communications.