April 9th – 15th is National Telecommunicators week.
Wilson Radio League wants to give our heartfelt thanks to all the dispatchers behind the scenes that are the forgotten first line of defense for our first responders and citizens.
Dispatchers and other emergency telecommunicators have to keep calm and clearly communicate to the units on the ground and talk with distraught callers all while balancing radio communication. It’s a daunting job and we appreciate them. Please watch this video and thank someone behind the scenes.
The below is a story highlighting what a dispatcher goes through daily across the country.
At approximately 1300 on June 7, 2016 we received a phone call from a very distressed young man who, along with two friends, were tubing on the Arkansas River in Pueblo County when their tube went flat. C/O Baca began working with them after they had maneuvered themselves onto a fallen tree and were hanging on as they floated down the Arkansas River.
C/O Baca began speaking with him, Alex, as she began making radio notifications to the Parks Officers on duty. C/O Baca soon realized that the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department Dispatcher was also on the line. She and C/O Baca were able to seamlessly ensure all officers, deputies, firefighters and EMT’s were kept apprised of the location of Alex and his friends. As the incident dragged on Alex’s girlfriend began to panic. C/O Baca convinced Alex to give the phone to Kiley, calmed her down and convinced her everything was being done to find them.
C/O Baca built a rapport with Alex, Kiley and her younger brother during the two hour ordeal. She showed them kindness and concern by coaching them to hang on. She displayed professionalism and competence to those in the field by asking pertinent questions and relaying the information back in a clear, concise manner. C/O Baca also developed a relationship with the Pueblo County Dispatcher as the two of them worked back and forth to keep the three teens calm while also ensuring the deputies and parks officers were informed of changing circumstances.
On this day C/O Baca and the dispatcher from PCSO potentially saved three teenagers from drowning by working together as a team to ensure all necessary notifications were made, needed agencies were on scene and more importantly they kept the teenagers calm and aware that everything was being done to rescue them.