This week we come together as a County, and also as a family of public safety agencies, to celebrate 2020 National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPTSW) and recognize the critical role that our 9-1-1 communications staff play in Loudoun County’s emergency services. NPSTW annually honors the men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency crews and equipment, and render lifesaving assistance to the citizens of the United States.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has officially proclaimed the week of April 12th through April 18th, 2020 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and they join the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Loudoun County Department of Animal Services, and agencies across the world, to honor the work of public safety communications professionals.
Across the nation in times of personal crisis and community-wide disasters, the first access point for those seeking emergency services is 9-1-1. Those answering these urgent calls gather essential information, dispatch the appropriate help, provide moral support and often make the difference in life and death situations.
As 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers fulfill their normal duties, they must now carefully navigate the additional considerations and stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “On a good day, our emergency telecommunicators provide a critical and vital link between those in need and our first responders,” said County Administrator Tim Hemstreet. “However, during this COVID-19 crisis, their work is that much more important to ensure that the right emergency personnel are dispatched and that our personnel have the right information about what to expect when they arrive on the scene. This is an incredible amount of pressure and responsibility and I thank them for what they do.”
“Aside from the professionalism, quick thinking and technical skills that Loudoun’s Telecommunicators demonstrate, they maintain a high degree of care and compassion when dealing with the residents and visitors of Loudoun County, said System Chief Keith Johnson. “It is these traits, in addition to their ability to stay calm during a crisis, which make them the true first responders and heroes.”
“Loudoun’s Public Safety Telecommunicators are the heart of public safety and the positive first link between residents and first responders during an emergency situation,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman. “Morning, noon and night, they take our calls for service in a capable and professional manner and it is a privilege to have such outstanding professionals serve Loudoun County.”