Annual observance honors thousands of personnel who answer emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals & equipment, and render life-saving assistance to citizens
The Erie County Department of Central Police Services is joining counterparts nationwide this week to participate in National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, an annual event held in the second week of April to honor and recognize 911 call takers - the "first" first responders - for their dedication and service to the public during some of the most difficult moments in a person's life.
These dedicated professionals play a key role in ensuring public safety across Erie County by answering emergency calls and dispatching police, fire and EMS services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"911 call takers are often the unsung heroes of emergency services, yet they play one of the most crucial roles in emergency response. It should not be overlooked or underappreciated that these men and women are the first ones contacted when someone needs help, and their quick actions send needed assistance immediately," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "They are vital to public safety and are an indispensable part of our team here in Erie County, and on behalf of all county residents I thank them for all that they do."
In 2017 in Erie County, the 911 Communication Center answered more than 701,000 calls and responded to over 1,500 texts for emergency services. Text to 911, a service introduced in Erie County in 2015, has been invaluable in helping residents with speech and/or hearing impairments who need emergency assistance. The Erie County Department of Central Police Services has also been proactive in coordinating trainings on crisis intervention, disability awareness and sensitivity, and other issues for all 911 call takers and related professional dispatchers and agencies from around Erie County.
Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz said, "Our 911 call takers, along with law enforcement, fire and medical dispatchers throughout Erie County, have been at the forefront in helping residents in every possible type of emergency. These men and women are always improving their skills and working on ways to facilitate better outcomes with the individuals on the other end of the line. These true professionals deserve our thanks every day of the year."