Give our emergency dispatchers a hand |

Give our emergency dispatchers a hand

Dear Editor:

There is a banner hanging over Aspen’s Main Street to recognize National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week. Please help us celebrate by thanking a 911 dispatcher! Let’s congratulate them on their performance and their commitment to public safety this week and every week of the year.

Every day the safety and lives of our community members are guarded by dedicated and caring emergency dispatchers. Your emergency dispatchers at the Aspen-Pitkin County Communications Center behind the courthouse are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, always alert and ready to answer all calls for assistance.

Each dispatcher is CPR-certified, trained in emergency medical dispatch and skilled in dealing calmly and efficiently with emergency situations. They are your first first-responders. Your dispatchers consistently strive to provide the citizens, visitors and workers of our community with the best possible service.

In 2012 alone, Aspen-Pitkin County Communications Center received 55,699 law enforcement calls, 5,885 fire and medical calls and more than 11,000 911 calls. That’s 61,584 calls for assistance that came initially to our personnel, who dispatched the appropriate police, fire and emergency-medical-service-agency members. And these statistics fail to reflect the calls dispatchers handled themselves, like giving out phone numbers, giving directions, providing referrals and general information (“How long do you cook a turkey?”), rerouting calls to other departments and accommodating various other requests.

Please take a moment to look back over the past year, when an occasion called for assistance from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office or the Aspen, Basalt and Snowmass police, fire or ambulance districts. One of your well-trained dispatchers figured out exactly what was needed and exactly where, prioritized the (usually multiple) pending calls for service and promptly sent the right resources. Whether you yourself called the communications center for help or you were at an incident that called for such response, it was a dispatcher behind the scenes who initially determined that response and sometimes provided life-saving medical instructions to the reporting person.

There is no greater sign of appreciation than to be honored by those you serve. During National Telecommunicators’ Week, which runs through Saturday, help show our dispatchers you realize how essential they are to the chain of events in public-safety response. If you personally know any of Pitkin County’s wonderful dispatchers who serve our unique community, be sure to let them know that you appreciate all that they do. If you don’t know any of them, rest assured that if you ever need assistance, in an emergency or on a routine matter, they will be there for you.

Bruce Romero

Communications director

Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office

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