From the Fire Chief: National Public Safety 911 Dispatchers Week

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

National Public Safety Dispatchers Week is celebrated the second week of April each year. This week, April 11-17, 2021, aims to honor all 9-1-1 fire/police/paramedic dispatchers and staff whose work is involved in public safety communication. This weeklong event gives recognition and expresses gratitude to all those people dedicated to saving people’s lives.


Understanding the job of a 911 dispatcher

Most of the time, people have no idea how hard the job of emergency communicators is. They carry a great responsibility because they are the first line of hope or defense for those people in need. They are the first ones to get in contact with people who are in danger. If you still have not fully realized that yet, then it is all the more reason for you to celebrate this week.


To become prepared for emergency situations

Another good reason to celebrate this event is that, by doing so, you can get yourself familiarized with the mechanics of what you should do in case of an emergency. Knowing how to contact a 9-1-1 dispatcher and what to say will perhaps even save your life or those of others.


Review 9-1-1 emergency call advice

A good way to spend your time this week is to review some 9-1-1 emergency call advice:

•9-1-1 is for police, fire and medical emergencies only. 

•Details are critical. Stay on the line with the 9-1-1 operator and answer all the questions they ask. Provide an accurate location; if you do not know the exact address, provide the call taker with all the details you can. Look for landmarks, cross streets, signs and buildings. First responders need an accurate location to respond as fast as possible.

•Try to stay calm and speak clearly.

•Do not hang up when calling 9-1-1. If you called by mistake, let the operator know.

Do not call 9-1-1 for jokes or prank calls.

This is a good week to tell them how grateful you are for doing their job appropriately. You can also use this event as your opportunity to say thank you, or send a letter of appreciation to a public safety dispatch center near you.

Just because you do not see their face, doesn’t mean they do not save lives. Behind every hero, there is a guardian looking out for them and they are the heroes’ guardian. It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos!