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  • Writer's pictureClay County

National Telecommunicators Week

You start your day with a cup of coffee and biscuit and hear the cry for help from a family member in a nearby room in your house, “Who are you going to call for help?" You are awakened by the smell of smoke in your house in the middle of the night, “Who are you going to call for help?" You are driving down a street and you witness a fight break out on a nearby sidewalk, “Who are you going call for help?" The answer is 9-1-1!

When you call 9-1-1, you have called the voice of the very "First” First Responder on any emergency call. The calm voice, a voice to give you instructions on what to do with any type of emergency whether it be a request for the Sheriff's Office, Fire Department or EMS.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of these heroes on the other end of the phone, the question remains, “What would we do without a 911 Telecommunicator?" The second week of April is recognized each year as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week”, bringing well deserved attention and recognition to the public safety dispatchers who are an invaluable, vital part of the public safety team. These very unique and skilled people, are the people behind the scenes that assure rapid response by law enforcement, fire, rescue and medical personnel in all emergencies and are very often overlooked for the critical role that they play in coordinating first response and lifesaving efforts. 911 Telecommunicators work around the clock, and immediately jump into action to help whenever they are called upon.

Clay County implemented 9-1-1 service in the early 1990's along with several other surrounding counties. Today Clay County is currently using an Enhanced 9-1-1 system that provides 9-1-1 Telecommunicators the phone number of the call and the location the call is coming from on a map. The 9-1-1 Center uses an IP based 9-1-1 phone system and multi-channel radio system. Clay County 9-1-1 is proud to have full-time and part-time telecommunicators on duty twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week to meet the needs of the citizens and visitors passing through our communities.

The establishment of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week by the United States Congress in 1994 paved the way to recognize the vital link emergency telecommunicators serve between the public and emergency responders. A Congressional procedure set National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week during the second week of April each year to honor all 911 Telecommunicators nationwide.

It is an honor to spend this week showing Clay Counties' “First” First Responders how much we value all they do to keep our community safe.

Kevin Sellers

911 Director Clay County

911 Communications Hayesville, NC

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