Emergency dispatchers are often the first point of contact for someone in need of help.
They play a vital role in keeping our communities safe by ensuring that emergency services are notified as quickly as possible.
April 10th-April 16th is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, a time to honor the men and women who work tirelessly to keep us safe. These unsung heroes use their skills and expertise to help emergency responders communicate with each other during times of crisis. They are responsible for ensuring that information is relayed quickly and accurately, which can often mean the difference between life and death.
Dispatchers don’t just take calls – they also provide critical information to responders on the scene. This can include everything from the location of the incident to the number of people involved. Emergency dispatchers often have to deal with high-pressure situations. They remain calm under pressure and use their training to make sure that help is on the way as quickly as possible.
Here are some facts about emergency dispatchers that will blow your mind!
They have the most stressful jobs in the U.S.
According to an article in “Business Insider,” emergency call takers scored 98.5 out of 100 in stress tolerance, making their profession one of the most stressful jobs in America.
They work 24/7
Emergency dispatchers do not work from nine to five like most of us — they work while you sleep to help emergency callers who are disoriented, panicked, and unable to think.
They are underpaid
Although they work for 12 hours, seven days a week, the average annual income is only $40,000 (in Alabama), despite serving in one of the most important emergency response roles.
Many of them suffer from CISS
Always being involved in others’ crises, tragedies, and cases of life and death, dispatchers eventually suffer from critical incident stress syndrome (similar to PTSD) characterized by nightmares, severe anxiety, and inability to cope with stress in daily life.
They would never hang up on their own
Knowing they are the only qualified voice to give instructions, dispatchers would never hang up the phone or disconnect the line unless and until they know emergency callers have been taken care of by professionals.
Over 240 million emergency calls are made in the U.S.
The need for emergency dispatchers is truly everlasting and increasing at a steady rate. More than 240 million emergency calls are made to dispatchers every year in the U.S., so the least we can do to recognize their importance is dedicate a week to honoring their contributions.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is a great time to reflect on the importance of emergency dispatchers and the hard work they do every day to keep us safe. This week, take a moment to thank a dispatcher for their hard work. If you know someone who is a dispatcher, be sure to thank them for their dedication to keeping our communities safe. We are all in their debt. Thank you, emergency dispatchers, for everything you do helping to keep our communities safe!