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!”
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.”
On 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.