Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators, more commonly known as dispatchers. In 1991, Congress proclaimed it as a nationally recognized week of recognition.
The recognition was originally created by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Dispatcher Patricia Anderson in 1980 and it eventually received support from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials-International and received Presidential declaration shortly after.
Douglas County 911 Emergency Services will be observing National Public Safety Telecommunicators week on April 14 - 20. The department consists of 19 public safety dispatch personnel. The department is the central point of contact for all residents needing police, fire or emergency medical services in Douglas County, the Washoe Tribe and Alpine County and are responsible for answering and processing all 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency calls for service 24-hours a day and 365 days-a-year.
“We would like to take this week to focus on things to know about 911,” said 911 Manager Ron Sagen. “It should be used to report emergencies only. An emergency is when police, fire or ambulance assistance is needed immediately to save someone’s life or property. Do not call 911 if you are seeking information or want to report such things as power outages or report an incident that occurred hours or days before. What happens when you call 911? When the 911 dispatcher answers, information is displayed to the dispatcher, similar to caller ID, but with far more detail. The center uses international standard protocols for processing fire service and emergency medical service calls and will soon for police calls.”
Anyone with questions about the department may contact Operations Supervisor Maggie Jensen at 782-9978 or Sagen at 782-9977.