This week is National Telecommunication’s Week. This week was dedicated years ago for the week of recognition of dispatchers and telecommunicators that work behind the scenes to provide emergency services to the citizens we serve. Last week, our City Commission signed a proclamation declaring this week as Telecommunications Week in Bartow.
In Polk County, we have a centralized 9-1-1 answering point, but the City of Bartow has a dispatch center that is responsible for emergency services and after hours dispatching of public utilities. We are very fortunate to have our own center and employees that are solely responsible for our services here in Bartow. I, as a resident and your police chief, am very thankful. Telecommunicators have a very demanding job. Emergency services telecommunicators deal with stressful situations that most of us will never encounter. Ours do, and they do a wonderful job at it.
Telecommunicators are the people you talk to when you call for help. They are the ones that direct you to the right emergency services agency and provide a calming voice while you await the arrival of police, fire or ambulance. They are also the very same people that are responsible for getting as much information as possible and relaying it to the officers and firefighters on the street for their safety. They are, in essence, the safety net for our men and women on the street as they perform their daily tasks. They are the first line of defense when an emergency happens … and all too often the first to be forgotten. Telecommuicators listen to, and must cope with; people who are all too often dealing with the most stressful events life can throw at them. This week, if you know a telecommunicator, thank them for the work they do. After all, they are the first person you will encounter when you call for help. We at the Bartow Police Department thank our telecommunicators for all of your hard work and dedication.