Monday, September 27, 2021

The week of April 12-18, 2015 is National Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week

The week of April 12-18, 2015 is National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week and a perfect time to say “Thank You” to the men and women of Northeast Tarrant Communications Center or NETCOM. These are the individuals who handle 9-1-1 calls for the Cities of Southlake, Keller, Westlake and Colleyville. They are an exceptional group of people who handle everything from routine service calls to life and death emergency calls on a daily basis.

Dispatchers work twelve-hour shifts and spend almost the entire time multi-tasking.  Supervisor Travis Trevino says, “They will be working a 9-1-1 call, while communicating vital information to officers in the field, and at the same time monitoring eight different computer screens; and if that’s not enough, they are constantly communicating what’s going on with their supervisor and the other 9-1-1 dispatchers. It’s all in a day’s work!” 911 dispatcher 2

9-1-1 dispatchers must be able to remain calm, cool and collected at all times while relaying critical information to officers and first responders. Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr says, “When seconds count, our first responders depend on the information that 9-1-1 dispatchers provide to them out in the field.  They serve as our eyes and ears until we are able to arrive on the scene an assess the situation.”

dispatchers best 1On average 9-1-1 dispatchers handle more than 100,000 calls per year. Operators are trained to talk to a frantic caller while almost simultaneously relaying accurate information to first responders and police officers. There is little room for error in the world of a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Interim Police Chief James Brandon says, “9-1-1 operators play such a vital role in a crisis situation.  They provide a lifeline between the caller having the emergency to the officer responding to help. They are one of the key reasons that we can provide the level of service that we do.”

National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week is a time set aside to thank 9-1-1 operators and emergency personnel across the country that work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help those in need during emergencies. Many local agencies around the country will host tours and celebrations to mark the occasion.

Supervisor Trevino says, “One of the most rewarding parts of the job is watching the 9-1-1 team come together to answer a call for help. Whether it’s talking to a terrified mother, frightened child or even an irate person and having the ability to calm them and offer assistance is extremely rewarding to our team. 911 dispatcher 4

The NETCOM 9-1-1 dispatchers are a great group of people. These men and women often work holidays, anniversaries, birthdays’ etc. helping to make sure the public remains safe. If you feel moved to send a card or an email to thank them, send it to Travis Trevino ttrevino@cityofkeller.com or mail it to 330 Rufe Snow Drive, Keller, 76248.  They will really appreciate it and you can rest assured when you call 9-1-1, you will not only get the best customer service around but also know that the person on the other end of the call cares about helping you and your family in your time of need or during a crisis.

Thank a 9-1-1 Dispatcher!

During February’s week-long manhunt for escapee Alberto Morales, law enforcement and other emergency personnel were called upon to track down this dangerous fugitive. Along with these officers were many people working behind the scenes on the front lines at the 9-1-1 dispatcher center taking in crucial tips and leads to pass along to officers involved in the search.  The men and women of NETCOM who handle 9-1-1 calls for the Cities of Southlake, Keller, Westlake and Colleyville are an exceptional group of people. 

These folks perform at peak levels 24/7 and during the manhunt they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they have what it takes to handle major breaking crisis events and relay important information to officers out in the field.  The work of a 9-1-1 dispatcher is not an easy task and they know, all too well, how critical it is to remain calm, cool and collected when dealing with an ever-changing situation or a potential life or death crisis. Southlake Police Chief Stephen Mylett says, “When seconds count, our officers rely on the information that dispatchers relay to them in the field; from the location of a crime in progress to a good description of a potential suspect to allow officers to respond quickly, assess a situation and defuse a potential threat to our citizens.” Mylett adds, “The 9-1-1 operators at our dispatch center our invaluable to us.” Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner echoes his sentiments adding, “Our 9-1-1 dispatchers know how critical it is to get emergency information from a frantic caller while relaying it accurately to responding officers without delay or errors. A wrong address or description can potentially delay help to one of our citizens in need. I can say with extreme confidence that our folks are some of the best in the business! I am very proud to have them on our team!”

During 2012, 9-1-1 operators fielded a total of 144,632 calls which averages out to nearly 400 calls per day. All of the calls are handled by 3 to 5 dispatchers on a typical day.  Travis Trevino, NETCOM (Northeast Tarrant Communications) Regional Communications Supervisor said, “The volume of emergency calls increased during the search for escapee Morales. Most of the calls that came in were to report a suspicious person or suspicious activity.”

Teresa Tryon is a 9-1-1 Dispatcher and she says, “My career is very rewarding and I absolutely love my job! I live for the stress and being able to provide assistance to someone in need and resolve a crisis.”  Tryon adds, “I’ve been known to break into song to help lighten the mood in the dispatch center on those really tough days.”

The week of April 14-20, 2013—is a great time to “Thank” 9-1-1 Dispatchers.  It is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. It is designated as a time when citizens can thank public safety men and women who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis. Americans can show gratitude to 9-1-1 call takers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, communications center personnel, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help you during emergencies.  Many local agencies around the country will host tours and celebrations to mark the occasion.

Supervisor Travis Trevino says, “One of the most rewarding parts of the job is watching the team work and grow together. All of the 9-1-1 dispatchers have a passion to help others in need by answering that call for help. Whether it’s talking to a terrified mother, frightened child or even an irate person and having the ability to calm them and offer assistance is extremely rewarding to our team. Travis adds, “Every day you have to put aside any personal issues or problems and come to work laser focused on doing the best job you can to help others in crisis. He says that retired Arlington Police Chief Bowman summed it up pretty well, “9-1-1 Dispatchers take the chaos and turn it into calm.”  And that was never truer during the extensive manhunt in February. 9-1-1 operators fielded hundreds of additional calls and worked tirelessly to relay accurate information to officers and multiple law enforcement agencies in the field.  Their efforts also helped to keep the flow of communication going to keep residents up-to-date and informed about the hunt for Morales.  

Dispatchers work twelve hour shifts and if you ever want to see true multitasking come to life just come in and watch them work.  They will be working a 9-1-1 call, while communicating vital information to officers in the field, and at the same time monitoring eight different computer screens; and if that’s not enough, they are constantly communicating what’s going on with their supervisor and the other 9-1-1 dispatchers. It’s all in a day’s work!  It really takes a special individual to do what they do on a daily basis. It would be a lot of stress and pressure for the average person but these folks thrive in this atmosphere. It’s truly what they love doing.  They are passionate about their careers and they treat every person they talk to with compassion and professionalism. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers provide the highest quality of service to the citizens of Keller, Southlake, Westlake and Colleyville as well as handling other multiagency calls for assistance.

The 9-1-1 dispatchers are a great group of people. These men and women often work holidays, anniversaries, birthdays’ etc. helping to make sure the public is kept safe. Telecommunicator’s Week is a perfect time to say “Thank you” to all of these caring and compassionate individuals who do an outstanding job every day in a very demanding career. So, if you feel moved to send a card or an email to thank them, send it to Travis ttrevino@cityofkeller.com or mail it to 330 Rufe Snow Drive, Keller, 76248.  They will really appreciate it and you can rest assured when you call 9-1-1 you will not only get the best customer service around but know that the person on the other end of the call really cares about helping you and your family in your time of need or during a crisis.

Help 9-1-1 Dispatchers Help You

Most people think that calling 9-1-1 in an emergency will automatically allow the dispatcher to know your location through GPS tracking, but that is not always the case.

Current location technology for cell phone callers is often not as precise as a landline. A landline phone is more accurate but typically when citizens call 9-1-1 for help, more than 70% of the time they are calling from a cell phone.

That’s why it is vital that callers provide 9-1-1 call-takers with an accurate location to allow dispatchers to quickly send emergency medical units, fire or law enforcement personnel.  Without an accurate location, emergency responders might be delayed.

Remember these important tips:

  • Give the location or address where the emergency has occurred-if you don’t know, describe landmarks to the call-taker.
  • Provide your phone number so they will have your identification and/or can call you back if you get disconnected.
  • Try to remain calm.
  • Describe what type of help is needed — Police, Fire or Medical.
  • Do not hang up.  Stay on the line and answer the call-taker’s questions.
  • Prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls.  Lock your keypad.
  • Translators are available for non-English speaking callers.
  • 9-1-1 centers cannot yet accept text messages or texted photos – For now, you must dial the 9-1-1 number for emergency assistance.