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A Message from APCO’s President

Each year, we take some time to say thank you to our true first, first responders with National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.  This week is all about YOU!   Emergency Communications Centers (ECC’s) around the world celebrate at different levels.  Some agencies have elaborate themes and celebrate all week long, while …

Our Team Means The World to Us!

This year we are using a global theme to express our appreciation for the amazing work the team at Yolo 911 does! We plan for themed days with foods, contests, prizes and activities.

A Message From APCO’s President

As we begin this week of April 12-18, designated as a time to celebrate our national public safety telecommunicators, on behalf of the Executive Committee, I want to say THANK YOU for the job you do every day and “Happy National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.” Even though we are experiencing …

NPSTW 2020 Contest Paused;
Support & Recognition Continue

In light of the gravity of the COVID-19 virus situation and the additional work and stress that will fall on our members and others in the public safety community, we are pausing our NPSTW contest. When we re-open it in the future, all stories already posted in the 2020 contest, as well as their “likes” will be maintained.

NTW 2019

  We had a week-long celebration of NTW, each day had a different theme. The Division raffled at 65″ television to raise funds for the week’s events. Patrol provided food. The NTW Committee created 2019 NTW Facebook page where employees could post pictures and participate in various games, including a …

Week-Long Plan to Acknowledge Amazing 911 Call Takers and Dispatchers

In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is implementing a week-long plan to acknowledge our amazing 911 call takers and dispatchers. The plan includes creating various graphics to post on social media throughout the week; working with CPD …

A Message from APCO’s President

The week of April 14-20, 2019 is a week to celebrate YOU and all that you accomplish each and every day. It is a great time to honor and praise the amazing “service above self” work dedication; assisting with the birth of a child over the phone, talking a caller …

National Telecommunicators Week-Through the Decades!

We are celebrating National Telecommunicators Week as “Through the Decades”! This week we will go through the 1940’s-2000’s with games and activities that are era themed. Each day they can dress up as the era and have the opportunity to win prizes and one grand overall prize for whoever earns …

YOLO 9-1-1 Super Heroes

This year we are celebrating our heroes with a super hero theme. We have a week planned of lots of games, activities and food, of course!

Getting Better Every Year at Celebrating

  Our communication center has gotten better every year at celebrating this week! Themed days, from Viva La 911, to Luaus! Our supervisors allows us to do no-uniforms all week with jeans! And even some of the local businesses have got involved and donated food and beverages to our team …

OPCD Goes ALL OUT for #NPSTW

OPCD celebrates NPSTW just like New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras!! Party, party, party! We have themed days like Nerd Day. We also have BBQ’s out back and we are given gifts from our Supervisors and Executive Director. We end the party with a Proclamation Ceremony at the City Council Chambers …

The BEST TC WEEK EVER!!!!

Myself and co-supervisor Maura Maschinski have created a list of quizzes and contest that started on February 3rd. Contest includes perfect attendance through March 30th. 100% on QA’s through March 30th, dispatch quizzes, reciting the department’s mission statement upon management’s request, etc. We purchased pretend money that looks so real …

Montgomery County Celebrations

We had a fun filled week! We played Telecommunicator Bingo, Jelly Bean count and ” How well do you know your co-worker? “during the week. The games seemed to be a big hit and we only did them on certain days. We had raffles and also did Candy Grams. We …

West Chester, Ohio, Thanks 911 Emergency Dispatchers

West Chester is singing the praises of its unsung heroes this week during National Public Safety Telecomunnicators Week (NPSTW). NPSTW is celebrated every second week of April as a way to say “thank you” to 911 emergency dispatchers for their commitment to public service. As first responders, dispatchers are often …

Dedication Video

This year we celebrated with an all new dedication video. The video was full of “thank you’s” and gratitude from fellow airport employees. Dispatchers enjoyed ice cream sundaes from Cold Stone Creamery as they watched the video. The dispatchers were also given gift bags full of goodies and t-shirts.

NTW 2018

We had a theme week for our center which included: Crazy Hat/Hair Day, Decade Day, Hippie Day, Beach Day, Cowboy/Farmer Day, Patriotic Day and more! We have had treats delivered every day our dispatchers and folks have come in on all shifts to say THANK YOU for what you do. …

Glendale Arizona Telecomm Theme Week

We have put a lot of work into the week and have made it very successful. This week has been a theme week with dressing up each day from GREASE, Mardi Gras, Western Day, Marvel, Aloha Friday. We were able to give each Dispatcher a SWAG Bag with a personalized …

I Celebrate You!

​Dear Fellow Dispatchers, Operators, Telecom­municators, You deserve to be celebrated for the services you provide to your community and the field personnel of the agencies that you dispatch. I celebrate YOU! You deserve to be recognized for the sacrifices you make; working nights, holidays, weekends with little to no sleep. …

NPSTW Trail Mix

This year we did a make your own trail mix bar! We bought trail mix favorites by the pound at a local store and supplied Tupperware to everyone for storing.  It was a great alternative to the sugary donuts and cakes we have had in the past! Then on Wednesday we …

Food, Treats and Gifts All Week

Our week is jam packed to celebrate the hard work all of our dispatchers put in! Monday our Admin staff provided breakfast! Tuesday the shifts got pizza for dinner! Wednesday and Friday San Bernardino County Firefighters Local 935 is doing a BBQ and has invited all of their personnel to …

A Week-Long Celebration of Staff

We have a week long celebration of our staff. Each day is sponsored by a different group within the Sheriff’s office from Police Officer’s Guild to the various Union’s representing the Comm. Center to the S.H.E.R.I.F.F. Fund to the Soup Ladies (www.soupladies.org). Each day has a different theme and food/beverages …

Nine One One

Thought I would just send you the poem that I wrote for this week. You can see it on FB by this link or read below Nine One One Nine one one Linking life out of death On the worst days of life A loved one’s last breath All the …

Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

From April 8 to 14, our Public Safety Communications Center will celebrate with themed dress attire, a window decorating competition, Ding Awards, a light-hearted awards reception and more. We provide lunch , we do snow cones , we have an article featured in our local work newsletter highlighting our men …

We “connect people in need to people with solutions”

In support of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, I posted the following on our Facebook page. Today, April 8, 2018 begins National Public Safety Tele Communicators Week and it continues until April 14. Every year during the second week of April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. …

Charlie Shift Rocks!

The Emergency Communications Center at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office celebrates PSTW every year and this year is no different. The enclosed photo is the kickoff day for the week and is Charlie shift celebrating with pajama day and breakfast made for them. We have theme days and lunch planned …

A Message from APCO’s President

During the week of April 8 – 14, 2018, our emergency communications centers around the country will be celebrating their public safety telecommunicators in a variety of ways. One of the simplest and easiest ways to celebrate these professionals is through recognition of what they do every day, which is …

Jefferson County Celebrates

This is how Jefferson Co. E-911 will be celebrating and our memo that we sent out: Jefferson Co. E-911 is please to announce the plans/schedule for National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. THEME DAYS: Each day will have a theme assigned to it. Food that day will be based on the …

Aloha Week

Sweets Day, Meal Day, and Casual Dress Day to wear 911 T-shirts jeans and sneakers. Color your Tiki mask and Hawaiian shirt and post on lockers. Name your Luau bear. Create a recipe for tropical drink. Create recipe using SPAM. Photo booth for group photos of shifts. Gift bags and …

Ice Cream Sundaes and More

Our County Commissioners signed a proclamation at their last meeting. Also, I will be bringing in Ice Cream and Sundae toppings (chocolate/butterscotch syrup, sprinkles, whip cream, cheries, etc) for all the shifts. Also, we plan to take a couple of dispatchers to the local radio station to do an on …

The Golden Year for the Thin Gold Line

Each team (T1Days, T1Nights, T2Days, T2Nights) are making large window decorations telling the story of the history of each agency we are partnered with (we are a combined communications center). Our Support Services Unit (training academy) will decorate 2 windows with the overall history of 911 and 911 around the …

Our Telecom Week Tradition

Klamath 911 is the primary PSAP for Klamath County, Oregon. We dispatch for about 30 different Police, Fire and EMS agencies. I have been the Director for over 5 years, and an employee starting as a dispatcher some 20 years ago. Dispatchers everywhere should take pride in what they do …

National Telecommunicator Week Superlative Awards

Here are a few suggestions for fun awards: The Gumby Award – to the person who is always flexible. The Simon Cowel Award – to the person who you can always count on to be brutally honest. The Alfred Pennyworth (Batman’s butler) Award – to the person who is always loyally behind …

Appreciating our dispatchers!

I was a dispatcher for 20 years and we hardly ever received any recognition. So when I was recently hired as the 9-1-1 Coordinator for Huron County, I vowed to change that practice. We have 4 PSAP’s and I decided to make goodie baskets for each PSAP. I had thermos …

Dedication

On the night of Oct 21st 2017, a 420,000 square-foot facility known locally as the Ames Plant caught fire in the city of Parkersburg, WV. Incident Command was quickly established and our Mobile Command Vehicle deployed to the scene to assist with the massive blaze. For nine days our teams …

First 911 Call

My first ever 911 call was in July of 2000 on the graveyard shift. A female called saying that someone trying to get into her back door, I immediately started officer her way and stayed on the phone line with her. She advised that she had 2 small children in …

Showering Them With Gifts

This year both myself and my Director are new to our positions and have come from the Dispatch floor. We decided to celebrate our Dispatchers and have been planning for National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week for months now. We have been updating our center with new paint, décor, new chairs, …

We Love Our Chambers 911 Telecommunicators, Chambers County 911

Every day we have a local business provide breakfast, lunch or dinner to our staff. We play the 911 Bingo, local businesses donate items and we do a drawing. Each day during this week has a theme, we dress to that theme. Fire, EMS and Police departments we dispatch for …

Dispatcher Week at FC911

Here at Fort Collins 911, we take NPSTW celebrations to a new level! Every year, members of our Rewards and Recognition Committee pick a theme for the week, organize activities and games for each day, and also coordinate meals for EVERY shift during the week. During the week, we have …

One of Our Own

My story is not about me, but about one of our amazing dispatchers, Trinity University Police Department Telecommunicator, Monica Nava. She has been with our department almost 9 years and is a very big contributor to our communications area, extremely self-motivated in her responsibilities as well as taking on self-initiated …

Have a Little Fun With It

We honor our Emergency Telecommunications Officers every year. We have been having an Annual Awards Night for a number of years now. Over the past few years we have added on more fun. All week we try to do something each day. The supervisors cook a meal for their shift. …

From Streamers to Stress

NPSTW 2017 started out as an agency wide celebration and recognition of Suffield’s three (3) full-time and two (2) part-time Public Safety Dispatchers. The Police Chief’s Executive Assistant and Records Clerk had snuck in Sunday morning to decorate the Dispatch Communications Center with blue and gold balloons and streamers as …

Makeover

Among other things, the best thing that our administration did was a surprise makeover of our break room. They brought in a new table, chairs, recliner, and added a couch, along with other improvements and amenities. We didn’t realize how badly it was needed until it happened.

Cookout for Communications!

In recognition of National Public Safety Communications Week, the OCSO gathered donations from deputies and friends to fund a cook out for not only our own public safety dispatchers but those from all agencies in the county. The dispatchers on duty were taken plates of smoked chicken, ribs, hamburgers and …

Theme Days for the Week

My dispatchers got together and picked 7 differently themed days. So far we have had superhero day, sports team day, 80’s day and shift color day. Please see some of our fun photos attached!

This.Is.Dispatch.

This.Is.Dispatch Dare to listen in to experience a day in the life of a 9-1-1 dispatcher. You never know what's waiting for you on the other end of the line but we're always ready; whether it's an emergency, a trauma, an adult or child, a misdial or just a general …

Fairfax County Thank You

Public safety personnel from our Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department take a moment to say thanks to the staff of the county’s 9-1-1 Center — Fairfax County’s public safety telecommunicators — the first of the first responders who are always there, always ready, 24/7, 365 days …

New Year’s Eve

Many years ago I was working the 3pm to 11pm shift on December 31st. I got a call around 11 pm from a man who said he was going to kill himself at midnight and he just wanted to let someone know. I alerted my partner to what I had so …

PSTs Honored, Recognized in the News

In the weeks leading up and beginning this week, many local and national newspapers have published stories about NPSTW. Some have recognized individuals, some have focused on events, and a good number have highlighted the demanding and generally unseen role of public safety telecommunicators as first first responders. Take a look at this growing list of stories about …

Lost Boy

I started my career in 1978, working for the Casper, WY, Police Department. I hadn’t been there long when I took a phone call from a frantic mother saying that her 6 year old son had not come home from school. They lived only 3 blocks from the school, and, …

Each Call Could Mean a Life

Many years ago I started this journey, a journey to become an underappreciated seldom seen very important part of emergency services. I had only called 9-1-1 once in my life, that was the day three men robbed me at gunpoint while working at a convenience store. I never really understood …

The Reason

I grew up in a small town (Ionia) near here. I watched Emergency on TV when I was young, but never thought I would be sitting here answering the phones at a Sheriff’s Office. This was not my first choice. I worked in factories, went into the Army for 4 …

A Message From APCO’s President

This past year has shown a light on public safety telecommunicators. In September, APCO initiated a campaign to ensure that the federal government accords telecommunicators the recognition and respect they deserve by being reclassified as a “Protective Services” occupation. We asked you to submit comments explaining how you protect the …

9-1-1 — Vital and Complex

I started my career with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 1993 as an emergency communications officer. I worked my way through call taking, dispatch, investigative, NCIC, and I finished as a dispatch supervisor in 1998 when I then transferred to become a patrol officer. In 2015, I was promoted as …

Thank You Video From Citizens and First Responders

One of the recurring themes I’ve heard from fellow call takers and dispatchers is nobody says thank you for the work that we do and that it’s a thankless job. The team at the El Paso Teller County (CO) 9-1-1 Authority set out to develop a tribute video for NPSTW …

Let’s Have Some Fun

NTW is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I have been organizing NTW for a few years now. Our Assistant Director is a huge help to me and helps me make this week possible. I go around to local businesses and ask if they want to donate anything …

The Call That I Won’t Forget

It was a slow weekend morning in the tiny suburban city that I used to work for. You were my first and only call that day. As I was saying “911, where’s your emergency”, I saw the phone number. I have known the phone number that was displaying on my …

We Are The Ones in 9-1-1

See the Austin Police Department’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites for a recruiting project we are working on. We just started a two profile series called “Meet the Ones in 9-1-1” as we build up to TC Week. We will also feature content during the week. We are planning a …

The Last Voice

When you work with a group of officers, especially if you tend to take the same shift rotation after rotation, you become a close-knit group, able to anticipate each other’s thoughts and actions in a way that is inexplicable. You also become part of a brotherhood and sisterhood that goes …

How Are You Celebrating?

Proclamations, theme weeks, no-uniform days, cook-offs … there are so many ways to make the week special. Use the form below or add a comment to tell us how you celebrate NPSTW.

Officer Needs Assistance

It was not “my officer” but his cries for help pierced my soul just the same. “I have been shot!” are four words no dispatcher ever wants to hear whether the officer is of their agency or not. Quickly moving into action I advise, “Officer needs assistance” letting my officers …

Helping Hand

I began my life venture on the private side of Public Safety for a gated community. We were sworn officer, first responder, convenience officer and the list goes on. I worked there for over 10 years, and then I decided to give the public sector a try. I enjoyed helping …

It Was Good to Know You

Early in my career, probably in 2004 or so I received a call from a man who lived in one of our unincorporated communities, I can no longer remember his name, but I will never forget the call. We didn’t do EMD at that time, and so I had, of …

Team Work

At approximately 1300 on June 7, 2016 we received a phone call from a very distressed young man who, along with two friends, were tubing on the Arkansas River in Pueblo County when their tube went flat. C/O Baca began working with them after they had maneuvered themselves onto a …

Thunderbird Down

On June 2, 2016 the U.S. Air Force Academy was hosting the U.S. President for the 2016 commencement exercise and the Air Force Thunderbirds were in town for their flyover of the graduation ceremony. Beginning at 0800 Communications Officer Garcia juggled many extra Troopers as they cleared the affected roadways …

Two Year Old Having a Seizure

I was working day shift on Thursday August 4, 2016 at the Call Taker position for the Wood County Central Communications Center aka Wood County E911. I took a 911 call of a 2 year old male having a seizure. As I was getting information from the father he told …

Suicidal Victim Gets Help

On December 20, 2016 at 10:15 a.m., Dispatcher Catie Guzman was on duty in the Communications Center for the University at Buffalo Police. The semester had just ended at UB and most of the students and faculty had left campus. It was what we refer to as ‘down time’ because …

Guardian of the County

I have had the pleasure of being a 911 dispatcher for police, fire and rescue for a little over ten years. I have taken more calls then I could even begin to count; some good, some bad and some just calls you receive on a daily basis. I always tell …

More Than Just a “Paycheck Job”

In May of 2012, I started my career as a 911 Telecommunicator. When I walked into the police department on the morning of May 1st, I never knew how my life was going to change. I dispatched for about a year full time and then accepted my position as the …

The Communications Family

What means the most to me about being a Telecommunicator? I have thought and pondered this question since it was first posted, and every time I try to formulate an answer I keep changing my mind. I visit past calls for service in my head and that’s a lot of …

That’s What We Do

I have been working for our agency for 28 years. I started part time and worked my way to Director in 6 years. We are a very small county, everyone knows everyone else so almost each call has the possibility of involving someone you know, or someone you love. I …

Something More

September 11 2001, I sat and watched as our world changed as well as my view of the world, the blinders were off. The naïve idea that I was in control of my life and that I could protect and shelter my children from evil was shattered. I was 19 …

Baby not Breathing

It was 0715 on my last night shift right before I was getting off at 0730 of my last shift for 4 days. 911 line rang and I answer to hear a mother that told me her baby was not breathing so I began the EMD Program and began asking …

That Moment…

January 5, 2016, started out like any other day shift. Day was busy with calls coming in asking for every division within the department except for Dispatch. Detectives were running in and out of the comms center needing suspects and victims ran. Detention would call asking about warrants and inquiries …

Code Blue

I talked to you while you were home alone having a heart attack and couldn’t breathe. You quit talking to me before the paramedics arrived. I stayed on the line in case you had just walked away, but when the firemen arrived on scene I heard them come in and …

Goodbye my friend

I was on duty when a call came in from a tower that was not in our jurisdiction. I answered the phone and a male said he wanted to report someone dead in their vehicle. I asked for the address where the vehicle was located and he gave me an …

Saving a Life

This occurred more than a decade ago. I received a call from a frightened, distraught woman. She purchased a pair of shoes that he husband disapproved of, either because she was not allowed to spend money or buy anything without being with him. He had beaten her with the shoes …

Keep Going

My name is Melissa and I am proud to say that I have served in Public Safety for 22 years. Some good times and some very hard times. Comparing the present to the past there have been so many changes and yes we know how some feel about changes. UGG! …

The Dispatcher’s Burden

I started my career as a 911 dispatcher my freshman year of college in 2010. At the time it was just a way for me to make a living but turned into more than I could imagine. It was a smaller campus than most due to the fact that it …

My Communications Officers Are Amazing People

I have been a communications officer for almost 12 years. I began at a local sheriff’s office and then transferred over to the State Patrol in 2007. I was promoted in 2014 to Communications Supervisor. I love dispatching. I love when the officers get home safe at night. I care …

Just Today

So many of the stories over the years you think you will remember, just seem to blend into each other because what we do is just a day at work. We only dispatch LE so we don’t get the difficult medical calls but we do listen to radio traffic from …

I Just Like Your Voice

It was a mid-December evening, around dinner time, when I answered a 911 call. Never knowing what’s going to be on the other end of the line when answering can be stressful at times – an in-progress domestic or assault, a car accident with injuries, a successful suicide – or …

Thank You for Sharing Your Stories From the Frontline

APCO’s request for telecommunicator’s stories to publish on this site yielded more than 50 entries and a wide variety of submissions – intense, amusing, heartbreaking … and all true. We express our gratitude to all those who participated, as well as those who read, commented and passed along the stories. …

Rep. Norma Torres Introduces NPSTW Resolution,
Speaks About Honoring Telecommunicators

  On April 13, 2016, United States Representative Norma Torres  (35th Dist. Calif.), herself a 9-1-1 dispatcher before entering politics, introduced a resolution on National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. “After 17-1/2 years as a 911 dispatcher, I know firsthand the challenges our public safety dispatchers face, the stress they are put under, and the …

Telecommunicators, NPSTW Are Big News

This month, more than 300 newspapers have written about NPSTW and the recognition due public safety telecommunicators for their demanding and generally unseen role in emergency response. Browse the still growing list to see the multitude of ways agencies and communities are honoring those working in their comm centers.

A Message from APCO’s President

Since I became your APCO president in August 2015, I have been talking about the importance of WE and I can’t think of a better time to reinforce that than during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW). You might work in a big city consolidated PSAP or a rural 9-1-1 …

A Life-Changing Call

(Recording of a 9-1-1 call in which a dispatcher guided a husband through CPR on his wife, who had collapsed.) I can’t tell you much I love my job and the amazing feeling I had that day when I found out that the patient had survived. It was truly a …

About NPSTW

Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored. This week-long event, initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives …

Have Some Fun With Theme Days

Many agencies choose to celebrate NPSTW with dress themes for different days during the week. Here are some of their ideas from previous years: 

A Token of Your Appreciation

Comm centers across the country take the opportunity during NPSTW to recognize outstanding employees. Some have banquets and bestow awards, while others take a more casual approach.

Tell Us Your Story

As a public safety telecommunicator, you’ve heard it all. Now we want the rest of the world to hear about you. For National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 2017, we’re collecting your stories and sharing them on the NPSTW.org website to show what it’s like to be the one behind the …

Celebrating NPSTW Without a Budget

So you want to celebrate public safety telecommunicators week, but you don’t have any designated funds? Here are some creative low/no cost ideas shared by your peers:

NPSTW: The Backstory

Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators.  Although we know from history that the idea started in 1981 with Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office, we’ve learned a little more regarding how that came about.

Extending the Recognition

In addition to offering an opportunity for celebration and recognition within your agencies, NPSTW is the perfect time to reach out to other PSAPs, the media and government agencies asking them to help honor telecommunicators and their impact on public safety. How might you do that?