Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week
This post is written by the E-911 Communications Manager for the City of Fredericksburg, Ms. Melissa Wood:
For the past several years, public safety agencies nationwide have recognized the pivotal role played by telecommunicators, dispatchers, communication operators, and radio control personnel. Each year, the second week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. This year, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is being celebrated April 13 – 19.
Designating a specific week to honor public safety telecommunicators was first conceived in 1981 by a member of Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International’s Northern California Chapter. APCO International introduced the week to Congress in October 1991. According to congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more – in 1993 and 1994 – before becoming permanent without the need for yearly introduction.
The Communications Officers, telecommunicators, of the City of Fredericksburg are the backbone of communications for the law, fire, and rescue services. They are always here, always on duty, 365 days a year/24 hours a day. They will stay on the phone and offer comfort in the midst of crisis, and send help when it is requested. They do this for little more than the satisfaction that is gained from helping someone. Last year, our communications staff handled over 24,000 9-1-1 calls; this does not include the multitude of incoming calls handled through our numerous administrative lines.
Public Safety Dispatchers are the “first” First Responders who provide a critical service to the community and all City of Fredericksburg Police, Sheriff, Fire and Rescue personnel. The term “9-1-1” is often associated with rapid emergency response and many people don’t stop to think about these seemingly nameless, faceless heroes until they experience actual emergencies themselves.
Please join the City of Fredericksburg Police Department in expressing our thanks to each and every one of those individuals who proudly serve the City of Fredericksburg’s citizenry in their time of need or in many cases, their darkest hour.