The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed the week of April 10-16 as Telecommunicators Week in Calvert. The Control Center is the first contact for those citizens needing emergency assistance and the employees are devoted to excellent customer service and professionalism. The center is administered under Calvert County Public Safety ad the Director, Jackie Vaughan and Division Chief Yvette Myers.
National Telecommunicators Week brings celebration, honor, and publicity focused on the otherwise unsung hero on the other end of the line. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the important role of the 911 dispatcher as the first, first responder.
April also serves as 911 education month, which focuses on teaching the proper use of 911 for aid in emergency situations (and as any dispatcher knows, NOT for pranks, recipes, weather checks, ordering a pizza, or complaints about slow traffic!). Thank you to all of you dispatchers who work long shifts and continually serve to provide a lifeline to those in need!
Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.” According to Congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994, and then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction.
The official name of the week when originally introduced in Congress in 1991 was “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.” In the intervening years, it has become known by several other names, including “National Public-Safety Telecommunications Week” and “International Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.” Now it is simply known as “National Telecommunicators Week”.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon