The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is currently observing National Telecommunicators’ Week by recognizing the importance of their public safety dispatchers. This year, National Telecommunicators’ Week runs from April 9-15. The CHP is honoring the life-saving services and assistance that public safety dispatchers provide to the community and to law enforcement agencies. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow praised the great work of California public safety dispatchers and credited them with helping keep countless lives across the State of California safe.
The Bridge Between Law Enforcement and The Public
9-1-1 operators and other safety dispatchers are the bridge between law enforcement officers and the general public. Nobody thinks about a 9-1-1 operator until they’re in an emergency. Then, that dispatcher is essentially a lifeline for a person who is in trouble. Public safety dispatchers are tasked with swiftly and correctly assessing emergency situations. For most people, calling 9-1-1 could be the worst day of their life. A dispatcher is a highly skilled and trained professional who is ready to help a stranger on the other end of the line during a potentially life-threatening crisis.
CHP’s Communication Centers
Throughout the state, the CHP has 25 different communication centers. These centers employ over 900 public safety dispatchers. Last year, they took 10.1 million calls from people in trouble. The CHP fields the majority of wireless 9-1-1 emergency and nonemergency calls in the State of California. Not only do dispatchers provide telecommunication services to callers, they also work with law enforcement officers and other technicians to help keep California safe. Listed below are a few of the CHP’s tips for calling dispatchers in an emergency.
CHP’s 9-1-1 Dialing Tips
- Try to stay calm.
- Be prepared to give personal information, location and detailed descriptions.
- Always give your location first, because not all wireless calls will send a dispatcher the location.
- Listen carefully and follow directions.
- Answer questions calmly and carefully.
- Be prepared with a description if the incident involves a criminal suspect.
- 9-1-1 is only for life-threatening emergencies.
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