Meridian – The Idaho State Police will celebrate the dedication of its Public Safety Communications Officers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 14th to 20th, at its two Regional Communications Centers.
This week is recognized annually as a tribute to those who serve on the very front lines of public safety that are heard, but not seen by those they serve. These professionals, commonly referred to as dispatchers, help save countless lives by answering emergency calls, dispatching emergency personnel and equipment and providing compassion and support to callers in distress. All of their work is done over the phone and radio waves with split second decisions, at all hours of the day and night, with precision and courtesy, under tremendous pressure. The celebration also recognizes the technicians that maintain radio and emergency phone systems, communications staff trainers, communications center personnel, and other public safety telecommunications staff across the country who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to help the public during emergencies.
“The public safety dispatchers throughout Idaho are the unsung heroes of public safety,” said ISP Director, Colonel Ralph Powell. “The public should know what every law enforcement officer, firefighter and emergency medical service provider knows. That is, that the highly trained dispatchers behind the scene are the people that allow us to arrive to a scene quickly and safely to provide aid to those in crisis. This is our chance every year to thank them and let the community know how important their role in protecting the public.”
The Idaho State Police’s two Regional Communications Centers provide service to all of Idaho and a lifeline to its officers working alone in the rural parts of the state with backup often an hour or more away.
The Regional Communications Center North (RCCN) is located in Coeur d’Alene and covers ISP’s two northern districts which include 10 counties and 6,211 road miles. In 2012, RCCN handled 57,375 calls for service and currently employs 13 communications officers.
The Regional Communications Center South (RCCS) is located in Meridian and is responsible for the four districts in the central and southern parts of the state. The districts include the 34 counties south of Adams, Valley, Custer and Lemhi counties and the 20,956 road miles in those counties. In 2012, RCCS handled 166,287 calls for service and currently employs 27 communications officers.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week started in 1981 by just one agency in California. The idea spread across the nation until Congress first gave it national recognition in 1991. Since then it has been celebrated the second full week in April every year.
Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued a proclamation April 7th recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in honor of all city, county and state public safety communications professionals whose diligence and professionalism keeps our state and its citizens safe.