When you dial 911, your call is answered by a highly-trained professional telecommunicator who acts as the bridge between those seeking help and the public safety personnel who provide it. They are the critical link that makes it all work.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office joined agencies across the nation April 14-20 to thank and honor these dedicated public safety professionals during National Public Safety Telecommunicators week.
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“The dispatchers are truly the unsung heroes of public safety,” LCSO Patrol Captain John Manago said. “The information they provide both the public and the first responders is responsible for saving lives. I’m proud to recognize that our folks are as good as they come and honor the tremendous job they do for our community day in and day out.”
Public safety dispatching has become a highly technical, multi-tasking environment that requires dispatchers to undergo extensive training and develop a strong skill set. They are expected to handle whatever calls for help come in, whenever they come in, while simultaneously communicating with field units and tracking everything using multiple computer systems. They are viewed as a key part of ensuring the safety of not only the public, but of the first responders, too.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has 19 of these unique professionals who handle as many as 17,000 to 18,000 calls a month while monitoring 24 different radio channels 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They provide these services for 12 county and state agencies in addition to six volunteer fire departments within Larimer County.
In addition to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the telecommunicators handle calls for Emergency Services/Wildland Fire, Larimer County Search and Rescue, Larimer County Dive Rescue Team, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (both groups), Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, Larimer County Jail transport, the Colorado State Patrol, LCSO Reserves, LCSO Posse, LCSO Victim’s Advocates and the Larimer County Coroner.
The volunteer fire departments include Crystal Lakes, Red Feather, Glacier View, Livermore, Poudre Canyon and Rist Canyon.