Here’s what dispatchers want you to know during National Public Safety Telecom Week

COLORADO SPRINGS – Sunday, April 10 marks the first day of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week 2022.

According to National Today, the event is observed every two weeks in April and aims to recognize carriers who help save millions of lives every day.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics defines public safety telecommunications operators as 911 operators and fire dispatchers who respond to emergency and non-emergency calls and provide resources to assist those in need.

Simply put, they act as the first line of communication between people calling 911 and responding officers, paramedics and firefighters.

Image courtesy of the Colorado Springs Police Department

According to communications center supervisor Eric Johnson, dispatchers are the invisible heroes of first responder agencies.

“Communications staff are your first first responders. We are the ones answering calls and directing agents where to go. »

Although they are not on the street during emergencies, dispatchers must be prepared for any type of situation ranging from someone needing information to a car accident to a medical emergency.

“We’re specifically trained to talk to people, to calm people down, to ask questions, to give vital instructions,” Johnson explained.

You could talk to someone [asking] ‘do I have a warrant’ or ‘can you give me the court number’ and the next thing you know you’re talking to someone whose baby is not breathing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “there are approximately 9,800 openings for public safety carriers scheduled each year, on average, over the decade.” Here in Colorado Springs, there are many opportunities for people looking to serve their community and provide assistance in difficult situations.

Ideal Qualities for Colorado Springs Carriers

  • A service mentality (a desire to help the community)
  • The ability to stay calm
  • Some computer skills

The Colorado Springs Communications Center provides in-depth training for future telecommunications carriers.

“At first it’s six weeks of classroom training, then at least nine weeks of on-the-job training with a trainer,” Johnson explained.

How to help our local dispatchers

If you ever need help and find yourself on the phone with a dispatcher, there are things you can do to not only make their job easier, but to make sure you get help as soon as possible.

  • Know your address (and make sure your kids know it too)
  • Look around for landmarks, signposts or other easily identifiable points

To learn more about Colorado Springs telecommunications services and positions, click here. For more information on telecommunications as a whole, click here.