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Sheriff recognizes emergency dispatchers

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GUEST EDITORIAL

By Carroll County Sheriff John B. Gardner

The week of April 14-20, 2013, has been designated National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week by Congress.
This declaration recognizes the more than 200,000 telecommunications specialists in the United States, who work each and every day to assure when you pick up the phone and dial 911, someone is coming to help you.
The job of dispatcher at any department is often the most under-paid and under-appreciated job there.
In most instances, the dispatcher is the first person that people deal with when they need help.
They are often overlooked by agencies when it’s time to be considered for a raise or a promotion.
They get cussed at, screamed at, preached at and their heritage questioned, but they take it all in stride and then remind themselves not forget to say “yes ma’am” or “no sir” when they finish the conversation.
Sometimes they scream back when pushed to the limit, but after all they are just human, kind of like superheroes, but without the fancy cape.
The job of dispatcher is a job that people in the field would tell you that they both love and hate. It’s a job of little reward and lots of heartache.
But the talented people who do the job day in and day out, do so because they genuinely care for people. They don’t make a lot of money, just a living.
They often times do the job without recognition, but still show up every day knowing that they indeed make a difference both to the officers they work with and the people in the community they serve.
They are required to know everything, forget nothing and be able to go from routine call to national emergency in the time it takes to answer the phone.
I would like to take this time to personally thank each of the dispatchers that work at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 center in Galax, the Virginia State Police Headquarters in Wytheville and all those numerous other telecommunications specialists throughout this great country for the job they do.
We truly could not do the job without you, and I am proud to associated with folks who give so much of themselves for people that we serve.