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Dispatchers and 9-1-1 operators the “silent heroes” that keep the community safe

We’re at the tail end of emergency service dispatchers and 9-1-1 awareness week. It’s a time to recognize and respect the work that emergency operators and dispatchers put in to keeping the community safe.

The province proclaimed April 9th to the 15th the week to honor operators and dispatchers who are the “silent heroes” helping police, fire, and medical services to keep the community safe.

Assistant Chief of the Campbell River Fire Department Stephanie Bremer says that it’s a week that operators and dispatchers deserve for all of the work they put in.

“They are very much the silent heroes, although they are the very first ones to receive the 911 call, they aren’t often recognized as those who are responsible for taking in all of that important information to dispatch resources in the community,” says Bremer.

“We manage the fire dispatch centres that provide service to 80 fire departments, so we take care of 27,000 incidents a year, and that’s done by dispatchers that are here locally, providing that service.”

When it comes to the significance of this week for local residents, Bremer adds that it’s important to share that awareness.

“It’s important to share what is required when calling 911,” says Bremer. “If you do call 911, you’d want to stay on the line with the operator, be able to give good location information, look at cross streets, and also ensuring that people don’t program 911 into any telephone or mobile, to reduce the number of calls accidentally made.”

The department reminds residents to not hang up when calling 9-1-1, and to inform the operator if you called by mistake.

Along with locking and storing your phone safely, the Department advises residents to never give phones to children to play with.

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