Sheriff's Office recognizes its dispatchers for their many roles

Since its establishment by Congress in 1992, the second full week of April has been designated National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, dedicated to honoring the many telecommunications professionals who aid in providing 911 emergency assistance to citizens everywhere. This year, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week runs April 10 through April 16, 2016. During this time, Park County Sheriff’s communications officers will join more than 200,000 fellow telecommunications professionals throughout the United States being recognized for their long hours and dedication to public safety. Every day, the public depends on the skill, expertise and commitment of public safety dispatchers who answer emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and provide moral support to citizens in distress. Emergency communications officers must also monitor radio traffic from field units, respond to their individual requests, and still answer the 911 and non-emergency lines. These dedicated professionals must make critical, split-second decisions and remain poised under extreme pressure. Often, they make the difference between life and death. The Park County Sheriff’s Office employs seven telecommunications officers who process calls for the Sheriff’s Office, the Cody Police Department, the Cody, Powell, Meeteetse, and Clark Fire Departments, as well as the West Park Hospital Ambulance Service. Last year, Park County dispatchers processed nearly 25,000 calls for service for these agencies. “The Park County Sheriff’s Office Communications staff are the ‘heroes behind the headsets,’ 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, who provide a lifeline to both citizens in need and emergency responders in the field,” said Sheriff Scott Steward. “Dispatchers play many roles; therapist, doctor, lawyer, teacher, weatherman, guidance counselor, psychologist, priest, secretary, supervisor, politician, and reporter. They must jump through the emotional hoops of listening to an angry citizen who is upset about a neighbor’s car blocking their driveway, to a frantic parent whose child is overdue from school, to a complaint about a speeding car on a county road, to a report of a structure on fire, to a caller who is missing their dog – all in a 30 minute span. And they are expected to handle each and every call with compassion and professionalism.” *Photo: Communications Officer Michelle Horn monitors first responder and incident status from the county’s dispatch hub located in the Park County Law Enforcement Center. h/t PCSO* #reboot #news