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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. …

Dispatchers Are Detectives Too

During your assigned shift you dispatched officers to the B2 Enterprises Gun Store to investigate the theft of a firearm that just occurred. An unknown person had stolen a shotgun from a countertop in the gun store.

Tell Us Your Story

In our minds, people can never hear enough about the heroic and everyday things you do. So we’re asking you again to submit your stories during the lead-up to NPSTW 2018. Tell us what means the most to you about being a telecommunicator. Tell us about a day you can’t …

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 …

I Know My True North

I know my true North. We all have our own. The moral compass inside where our integrity pulls the needle to your true North. I have been a Dispatcher (no, I am not offended to be called that-I know my worth) for 16 years and 2 agencies. I have dispatched …

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 …

How we celebrate NPSTW @ UKPD

This year we chose to honor our Telecommunicators by having a giant banner that says “We Appreciate You” and we had everyone in the department write a note expressing their thanks. There were also baked brownies and other goodies made by others in the department and from the Wives Behind …

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.

Dedication and Recognition Countywide.

Putnam County WV 911 Telecommunicators were recognized for their hard work and dedication. The County Commission and the City of Hurricane signed Proclamations acknowledging National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in Putnam County, WV.

Kern County NPSTW 2016

This year at our center, located in Bakersfield California, we are having a blast ! Each shift has participated in a dress up contest including support your sports and Patriotic day. At the end of the week the person with the best outfit will win a prize. We also purchased …

911 What Is Your Emergency?

Please click the link and watch Shreveport Fire Department Communications Division in action. Black Helmet Films, producer of the “Another 24” mini-series about the life of firefighters, has put together a new video to showcase dispatch in honor of National Telecommunicators’ Week.  Featuring the Shreveport, Louisiana Fire Dispatchers at Caddo …

Dispatch Appreciation Week 2016

This year we gave our staff years of service pins for 5 or more years of service. We put 4 bags with gift certificates attached to the bags, and each dispatcher put a ticket in whatever bag they choose. For every time they come shift and every 911 call they …

A Week of Appreciation and Food

Generally it is a week of appreciation and FOOD! Our Fire and EMS agencies along with our administrative staff provide a lunch or dinner for each shift every day of the week. Command Staff from all of the departments we work with either stop by or send messages expressing their …

City of Burlington Proclamation April 10 – 16 as PST Week

Fire Public Safety Telecommunications staff were invited to the April 11th City of Burlington Council Meeting where the Mayor read a proclamation to Council and attendees (also webcast) proclaiming Apr. 10 – 16 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in the City of Burlington. The Mayor’s Proclamation read as follows: The …

A Special Week

This has been a special week for staff – on Monday the Fire Marshal’s office dropped off 3 foot sandwiches for each shift (with chips and drink) – on Wednesday the Police Chief had an Edible Arraignment delivered for staff. Each staff member received a 911 Dedicated Hero sweatshirt and …

No Uniforms All Week

We are fortunate enough to work for a Department that is allowing us, ALL WEEK, with no uniform. Each day is a designated theme and today for us is sports day!  As you can see, we are enjoying it! Thank you to ALL of you out there that are Telecommunicators, …

Franklin County PA NPSTW

Attached you will find a picture of a few of the dispatch staff from Franklin County, PA Department of Emergency Services. On the left is Megan Ruby, dispatch liaison from our regional EMS governing body, the Emergency Health Services Federation of New Cumberland, PA. The EHSF was kind enough to …

Reason Enough to Feel Like A Hero

I began my career in law enforcement in 1986 at age 19 as a dispatcher.  I spent many years on the night shift and the evening shift and finally the day shift behind the radio taking and dispatching calls. It would be an amazing feeling to be able to share …

The Promise

I have been a dispatcher with the Birmingham Police Department for more than 17 years. I began my career on the 3-11 shift and what an exciting ride it was. I received a call about a man that had attempted to commit suicide in a very large cemetery, he stated …

My Memories of 9/11/01

As part of Arlington Public Library’s commemoration of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, we conducted a series of interviews with first responders and others to share their stories and memories of that time. Jennifer Meyers (Arlington County ECC Dispatcher) “I was a dispatcher for Arlington County’s Emergency Communications Center on …

Why I Love What I Do

I originally applied to be a Communications Officer because I wanted a foot in the door to the Public-Safety community. Little did I know, it would be a career I fell in love with. The first day on the job after the long process of actually getting hired, I wondered …

Why I Am a Dispatcher

I have always wanted to be involved in law enforcement ever since I was a young child. I started my career in dispatching July 25, 2005 when I was hired part time at Edinburgh Police Department. I knew from the moment I sat in the seat my first solo shift, …

Save the Ice Cream

At the time, I was working at White Settlement Pd. The electricity was out for part of the city due to a big storm passing through. An elderly lady called wanting to know when the electricity would be back on. After I consulted my crystal ball, I advised her I …

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 …

Game Ideas for NPSTW

In the past we had played a few fun games that everyone seemed to enjoy. We have had a jar of different kind of M&M’s with money hidden in a Ziploc bag inside. Whomever came closest to guessing the number of M&M’s (without going over) won the jar and the …

Remembering Why …

It seems that every day at work is the same old same old. I used to believe I was making a difference. Now lately it’s just been doing my job. It’s what I’m supposed to do … until yesterday.  I was once again reminded of why I chose the job …

Because We Have the Answers

It was April 27th in the year 2000. I applied for a job where my only personal knowledge consisted of what happened on television. My trainer was a seasoned veteran who would soon retire. She was one of those people who could hear a license plate tag and would know …

Why I Am a Dispatcher and Still Doing It

I began my dispatching career in Alliance, Nebraska in 1975. Working for the Alliance Police Department as a dispatcher/matron. I worked for them for 2 years and then my family became more important so I resigned. In December of 1979 I began working in another branch of law enforcement, for …

Telling Our Story

I didn’t plan to become a dispatcher. Like so many of my fellow brothers and sisters, I fell into the job as a back-up for the regular dispatcher when I was working as an EMT. Back in the 70’s, I was obsessed with the idea of being a paramedic thanks …

We Matter, We Save Lives

Every morning people wake up to get their day started. Ready to conquer their work day. Ready to complete the work load they already know they have ahead. As a 9-1-1 dispatcher we get up and wonder what kind of day or night is ahead of us. Will it be …

A Family, A Friend, A Co-Worker and A Life Saver

911 dispatch has been a part of my life since I was 23 years old, starting in the field in 2004. I started my career not knowing anything about this job or how it was going to change my way of thinking and how it was going to play a …

Not Like Every Day

That day that starts like every day. 911 calls, non-emergency calls, dispatching units, running names and vehicles, entering, locating, clearing, repeat, just like every day. Until that call comes in that says that all available personnel need to respond to the station for an emergency meeting. The dispatchers can’t all …

Why I Am a Public Safety Telecommunicator

My journey to be a public safety telecommunicator has been very different than most telecommunicators. I started as a police/fire dispatcher in northeast Indiana in the late 70s. There was no CAD, no 9-1-1, only rural route addressing outside the city limits, one shared radio channel and you worked alone …

A Day in the Life: My Story

My story is words. Words that alone are meaningless, but together, make up the very essence of my being. Words that changed me from the core, and have made me who I am. These words are my story. “My husband shot himself, we’re at his dad’s, I have no idea what …

January 8, 2011 – The True “First” Responders

It was one of those “once in a lifetime” events during your career that you pray will never be repeated. Even more than 5 years later I remember that day like it was yesterday. The impact of the events of that day will forever be ingrained in the memory of …

An Unusual 911 Call

This happened while I was working as a dispatcher for the Washington County Sheriffs Office in Blair, Nebraska. One morning I received a 911 call from a 12-year-old who said she was taking a bubble bath and her Dachshund jumped in the tub with her and ended up swallowing a …

It’s a BOY!

January 29th, 2015 started out in the dispatch center like any other day. We arrived at 0600 to start the shift, and settled in for the next 12 hours. At approximately 0830 Dispatcher Enloe answered a 911 call, “Fire and EMS Where is your Emergency?”. Immediately I knew this call …

Just When You Think You Have Heard It All

This year marks my 20th year in 9-1-1. I am a tenured dispatcher that still LOVES answering phones. For me, it is a reminder that no matter what is going on in my life, someone somewhere has a lot worse happening. Those are the bad calls. The other reason why …

911 Dispatch – A Newbie’s Journey

This is a story of 18 weeks of 911 dispatcher training. My hope is to inspire more potential dispatchers, enlighten trainers and bring hope to those already into training. I will hit my 2 year anniversary in November of this year and that amazes me! I am still learning on …

Unexpected Negotiations

I started my career as a 911/police dispatcher in 1998 at the Salt Lake City Police Dept. I grew up listening to my mom’s scanner and felt extra covert special because I had learned the 10 codes for the county. Much to my dismay I learned the SLC doesn’t use …

The Reason I’m a Public Safety Communicator

With my father being an EMT and firefighter and my mother a phone operator I knew I wanted a career where I too could make a difference and help others. I love the adrenalin rush of pursuits and high priority calls. I guess you could say I’m an adrenalin junky. …

Self Dispatched First Responder

On 04/21/97, I began my journey as a public servant with the Shreveport Fire Department. Our agency is the primary PSAP and the initial point of contact with the citizens of Caddo Parish. I had no previous call taking or dispatching experience prior to accepting my conditional offer of employment. …

Switched Frequency Helps Officer in Trouble

I began my career as a 911 dispatcher just about six years ago. Four short months into my career I heard my first “plea” for an officer assist over the radio. It’s a moment I will never forget and I believe it is the moment that confirmed that I want …

Who Does 911 Call When They Have A Problem?

As the person really behind (and under and inside) a console… I’m one of the people that 911 calls when they have a problem! Every call center has tons (literally TONS) of electronic equipment and when (not if !) it fails, one of us is on call 24/7, Christmas, Easter, …