CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice signed a proclamation designating April 11-17, 2021 as West Virginia Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week will honor the hundreds of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to citizens of the Mountain State.
Telecommunications professionals contribute to the safety of citizens as the first point of contact with emergency services. They also help protect first responders whose lives depend on the accuracy of the information they relay.
“911 dispatchers are the first of the first responders in the event of an emergency,” said Michael Tatum, Assistant Director of Cabell County E-911 and President of the West Virginia 911 Council.
During the past year, West Virginia’s telecommunicators faced a global pandemic. These challenges added the responsibility of reassuring the public during emergencies while also limiting first responders’ exposure to COVID-19. Through the outstanding performance of these professionals, emergency response remained prompt, leading to better outcomes for first responders and the citizens to whom they are responsible.
“I personally want to thank each and every telecommunicator for their hard work and dedication to what they do by providing critical information to our EMS, fire and law enforcement personnel as they are the lifelines to these men and women,” said West Virginia Emergency Management Director GE McCabe. “I cannot begin to count the number of times throughout my 27-plus years in law enforcement when the information they provided me and the assistance they sent to me most definitely added to my safety, and in some cases I am sure saved my life. Thank you for your service!”