Week-long event celebrates, honors call takers who dedicate their lives to serving public
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 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 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 the essential first link in the chain of emergency assistance, the first people to learn of a crisis and the first to send help on the way. Every second counts in an emergency situation, and each emergency presents a different situation, but these men and women calmly and efficiently get help to where it is needed, when it is needed, every day, all day long,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “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 2018 in Erie County, the 911 Communication Center answered more than 687,000 calls and responded to over 1,000 texts for emergency services. Erie County was one of the first counties in New York to introduce text to 911. This service continues to be an invaluable tool to assist residents who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or may have a speech disability. The Erie County Department of Central Police Services will continue to sponsor various trainings to include domestic violence, disaster response/resiliency and crisis intervention for call-takers and dispatchers from around Erie County.
Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz added, “The Erie County 911 Center is a critical component to providing professional and efficient law enforcement, fire and medical response throughout Erie County. This dedicated group of public servants is on call 24/7 providing assistance to the public during times of need. In particular, during the recent winter storms, these professionals handled an extremely large volume of emergency calls in a short period of time, which contributed to making our community safer. Their service to our community is invaluable.”
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is celebrated from April 14-20.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Central Police Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/cps/.