The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department and public safety departments around the nation proudly celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16, 2022). Public Safety Dispatchers and Communications Officers are the vital link between communities and law enforcement, fire, medical, and emergency management agencies. These hard-working women and men are often the unsung, unseen heroes of emergency response, serving as the "first" first responders.
Earlier this year, the City of Mobile and Mobile County Commission officially recognized public safety telecommunicators and 911 dispatchers as first responders. These "voices in the dark" are true front-line responders, answering thousands of calls, investigating the situation, calming often irate, stressed, anxious, or frantic citizens, gathering vital information for responders, and ensuring the proper help gets dispatched to the scene as quickly as possible.
“The way we’ve been recognized puts us in a category that really doesn’t show the expertise and training that our operators go through and everything they need to know to process calls. It’s kind of a specialized type of job that requires a great deal of training,” said Lin Casoria-Scott, a team supervisor for the Mobile County Communications District.
Communicators are highly-trained in several programs, radio protocols, policies and procedures, and more. Despite often going unnoticed, public safety telecommunicators sacrifice much in their personal lives - weekends, holidays, family gatherings, events with children, and more - ensuring that the radios, phones, and emergency lines are staffed 24/7. Dispatchers remain the vital first step in the process of saving lives.