911 dispatchers recognized during Telecommunicators Week

911 dispatchers recognized during Telecommunicators Week

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - 911 dispatchers all over the country are being recognized as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

They are the voice on the other end of the line you hear when facing an emergency.

Every year over 4,000 calls are answered by dispatchers at the Lucas County 911 center.

The center has a staff of 51 operators that work around the clock and on holidays to make sure you get help when you call.

"I'm very lucky to be there, to have this job and help people every day," said dispatcher Jim Briggs.

Briggs has been a dispatcher for over 30 years, and although he loves his job, he is usually not the one that gets thanked.

"The dispatch or telecommunicator piece of it is often not seen," said Ralph Shearn, communications manager of Lucas County EMS. "People call 911 and they're talking to somebody there and a lot of times the units then arrive. A lot of people then correlate 911 as that unit being there."

"In 32 years [I've been thanked] maybe about twice," said Briggs.

These dispatchers aren't looking for glory or praise, but Toledo Police Department, Toledo Fire Department and others who rely on these dispatchers for information want to make sure these workers are appreciated.

You can help these dispatchers when calling 911 by remaining calm and giving them a name, address and phone number right away so they can get a crew out to you as fast as possible.

New technology is in the works to make this easier on both dispatchers and 911 callers.

The ability to text an emergency to 911 is expected to be in place for those in Lucas County by the end of the year.

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