The third week of this month, April 13-19, will be National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a national salute to all of the men and women dedicated to serving 911 centers all across the nation. This was first established in 1991 by an act of Congress and has been an annual national event since.
It is estimated that there are over 200,000 public safety dispatchers across our nation. These are highly trained and dedicated individuals who work long hours, nights and holidays to serve their respective areas.
I took over the supervision of our local 911 Center in July 2008. In the almost six years it has been under the Sheriff’s Office we have made great strides to upgrade and improve our 911 service. All of our dispatchers are very skilled, trained and both state and nationally certified. By adding Emergency Medical Dispatch — EMD, several years ago we have raised the level of service to equal any in our state. We are now just a few months away from moving into a new, state-of-the-arts facility that will again expand our capabilities and will be a facility that will last this county many decades to come.
Holly Mullis is my director of the 911 Center. I cannot praise her enough for her management skills, her knowledge, her dedication, and her loyalty to her staff and her job. She has been working closely with our IT staff and vendors to make this transition into the new Center as smooth and seamless as possible. Her staff is dedicated and well trained. Your 911 Center is the heartbeat of your county emergency services.
I recently visited the Guilford County Metro 911 Dispatch Center. It’s a huge operation. They have 20 dispatch consoles and at any given time there are 16-18 in operation. It is one of the largest and one of the busiest in N.C. Our dispatchers in Anson County are trained and certified at the same level as Guilford County. Big is not necessarily better.
My goal — and it will continue to be my goal — is that when someone in Anson County calls 911, the call will be taken in a timely, professional and efficient manner. The voice you hear from that 911 dispatcher will be confident, calm and reassuring that emergency response is on the way.
If you know someone that works for our 911 Center, please take time to speak to them the next few weeks. Tell them what a good job they do and how much you appreciate their dedication and professionalism.