Telecommunicators Week commemorated
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is being commemorated April 10-16.
Each year, during the second week of April, those serving as telecommunications personnel are honored.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office shared on social media that it has eight full-time and one part-time telecommunicator.
The telecommunicators are responsible for dispatching Union and Alexander county non-emergency and emergency 911 calls for six law enforcement agencies, two ambulance services and12 fire and rescue departments.
In addition to dispatching, the telecommunicators also are jailers and are responsible for new arrest processing, booking, releasing and handling inmates for court.
The sheriff’s office noted that “Union County is blessed to have a modern and state of the art dispatch center.” The center is located in the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
The center has three active dispatch console stations, with room to utilize a fourth console position if needed for growth in the future.
Each dispatch station has four computers which the telecommunicators are required to monitor at all times.
Six different communications frequencies are constantly monitored, including a 911 terminal, a CAD/mapping/recorder terminal, a LEADS system and a radio console.
In addition to the computers, the telecommunicators also are required to monitor security cameras for detention holding cells and the courthouse.
The telecommunicators also monitor weather conditions so alerts can be sent to storm spotters and the people in Union and Alexander counties.
Telecommunicators are certified to handle 911 emergencies. They are required to obtain 12-plus hours of training every year to maintain their credentials to answer 911 calls and to give pre-arrival instructions to callers waiting on responders to arrive on scene.
During calendar year 2021, the telecommunicators handled 17,732 calls for service and processed 1,102 new arrests.
During the first quarter of 2022, they have handled 4,743 calls for service and processed 436 new arrests.
The sheriff’s office added that “these ladies and gentlemen wear many hats...” and said they are “required to multi-task and are a very important piece of emergency services.
“Without their service all of the duties they are responsible for would go undone.”