John W. Donlevy, City Manager of the City of Winters, wrote this about dispatchers:
Finally, this week is National Dispatchers Week in recognition of the seldom seen but critically important emergency dispatchers of our 911 system. They are literally the first people most talk to in the most critical and desperate times of their lives. For almost 12 years, I have sat on the Board of Directors for the Yolo 911 Agency known as the Yolo Emergency Communications Agency (YECA). I will share that these are some of the top public safety personnel I have been involved with in my career.
Over the last year, YECA has handled over 305,000 emergency/non-emergency calls. In total, they handled almost 205,000 dispatch events for police, fire, medical and other events.
Dispatchers not only receive the initial 911 calls, but also are literally “on” every event with police, fire and EMS until it is resolved. They are the security blanket “in the ear” of the police officers as they take critical calls, relaying essential information on backup and other resources which are on the way. In the best situations, they walk people through the delivery and birth of a child and the worst being with the last breaths of a critically injured police officer or sheriff deputy. They deal with the most difficult situations with split second decision making, pulling and delivering information across a panel of 8 computer screens with radio traffic in one ear and phone conversation in the other.
Dispatchers bring strength to those in desperate situations, hope to those dealing with the unfathomable and are the backbone to all first responders who do the heroic. In our area, they have deciphered the code words of domestic abuse victims in need of aide and walked children through directions to a trail where the parent had fallen over a cliff. Simply amazing!
They are “angels” incarnate who bind our public safety system. I cannot express how honored and grateful I am to work with these dispatcher professionals.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, there are currently no events planned.
From MOLLY SCOTT, OPST President: It’s time to celebrate! The Organization of Public Safety Dispatchers (OPST) is asking you to join us in recognizing the outstanding work and accomplishments of our public safety dispatchers over the past year. OPST is comprised of Call Takers, Dispatchers, Supervisors and Managers from the 9-1-1 Public Safety agencies in Placer, El Dorado, Nevada, Sacramento and Yolo counties, including state agencies.
Each year, during the second week of April, the nation recognizes National Telecommunicators Week. This year, we will celebrate with our 24th annual awards banquet and fundraising event on Saturday, April 4th, 2020. Our annual banquet is regularly attended by over 400 public safety professionals, community members and corporate sponsors and serves as our opportunity to present TELECOMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR awards to employees serving 18 agencies and dispatch centers. Our awards banquet is a much-anticipated event that includes dinner, presentations, raffle drawings, silent auction and time for everyone to meet the people behind the voices that we hear on the radio and 911 lines.
In addition to showing appreciation and recognizing the outstanding work of our public safety professionals we also donate the proceeds of this event to charitable 503(c)(3) organization selected by the host agency. This year Placer County Sheriff’s Office is hosting the event and has selected the First Responder Support Network’s West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat by way of financial assistance for Public Safety Dispatchers.
We would not be able to hold our annual awards banquet each year without support from our community, small businesses and corporate sponsors. How can you help to support us? It’s easy. You can help to support OPST and your Public Safety Telecommunicators with a donation of a raffle prize, silent auction item or as a financial sponsor.
More information about financial sponsorship and donations is detailed on the attached page. OPST is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Our tax ID number is 911768623.
We hope you and your company or business will be able to help us by joining and contributing to our event. We appreciate your support of our organization, Public Safety Telecommunicators and the charities we serve.
MOLLY SCOTT, OPST President
Dispatch Supervisor, Yolo Emergency Communications Agency (YECA)
To view the entire letter including sponsorship levels, please click here.