From the Director of Emergency Communications
National Telecommunicators Week
April 10-16th 2016
Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety Telecommunicators. It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (California) Sheriff's Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create "National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week." According to Congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994, then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction.
There are over 6,000 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the United States. These Public Safety professionals dedicate their lives to helping others.
This week allows me the opportunity to express my gratitude to the men and women who serve as 911 Telecommunicators at the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications Center, located at the Oak Lawn Village Hall. The center dispatches and answers 911 and non-emergency police and/or fire calls for Villages of Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Burbank, Bridgeview, Bedford Park, Central Stickney, and in the very near future the Village of Hodgkins.
911 Telecommunicators perform tasks that most of us could not endure emotionally; they are an exceptional group of professionals. As the Director, I know that I am one of the few people who witness the skills, expertise, and commitment of these dedicated men and women. These individuals help save lives by answering 911 calls, dispatching emergency units, and providing moral support to citizens in distress.
I would like to say “Thank You” to each of my Telecommunicators. Please know that your dedication and commitments do not go unrecognized and they are much appreciated.