Emergency Dispatchers Honored
The Berkeley County 911 Communications Center is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunications Week from April 13th – 19th by honoring dispatchers during this week and has named Ashley Taylor “Telecommunicator of the Year” for 2013.
This week, sponsored by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls by dispatching emergency professionals and equipment and rendering life saving assistance to the world’s citizens. In 1991, Congress proclaimed the second week of April as a nationally recognized week of acknowledgment. Berkeley County Council voted to join the proclamation and has adopted it since 2009.
“These men and women are the unseen, behind-the-scenes heroes of our communities,” says Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis, “on any given day, a dispatcher must handle a number of sensitive and difficult calls, while keeping calm and collected. They never know when they may be called to guide someone through administering CPR, calm someone who has been a victim of a crime, or even keep a person experiencing a medical emergency lucid and awake. It’s a tough job which requires extraordinary skills coupled with the ability to multitask and remain calm during emotionally demanding situations”.
Roxanne Willey is the Director of the Berkeley County Communications Center. According to Willey, the center has six dispatchers on duty during each 12-hour shift. The Berkeley County Communications Center dispatches for Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner Police Department, St. Stephen Police Department, Jamestown Police Department, Bonneau Police Department, Berkeley County EMS, Berkeley County Rescue and 26 Fire Departments. They handle over 300,000 calls per year.
2013 Call Statistics:
Telephone calls received in 2013
Emergency - 94,730
Non Emergency - 232,736
Calls dispatched in 2013
Law Enforcement - 85,440
EMS - 14,673
Fire - 11,853
“These folks really go above and beyond,” comments Davis, “if not for these dedicated men and women, the system just would not operate as effectively as it does.”