Between the Thin Red Line and the Thin Blue Line,
Lies the Thin Gold Line.
The Thin Gold Line Represents
The Heartbeat of Public Safety:
A Calm Voice Always Heard, Rarely Seen, Relentlessly
Safeguarding Citizens and First Responders.
Telecommunicators are the first, first responder. They are the calm voice answering your emergency call 24-7-365. They are called the first, first responders because they receive, analyze, classify and disseminate your crisis call to the appropriate emergency services unit. They listen to you, whether vocally, or silent, texting or tapping, your voice inflections, pauses, vital information and many times to “what’s not being said” always focusing on clues, details, and background noise. They are masters at having a backup plan in case the call dynamics change. Telecommunicators make quick, instinctively accurate decisions, constantly aware and one step ahead of a possible life-threatening judgment.
These first responders, Telecommunicators, are also known as dispatchers, call-takers, radio dispatchers, and communication operators, to name a few. Whatever the label, they are the first to hear your plea and the one you depend on to respond when you have an emergency.
Whether a citizen calls from a landline, wireline, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, or Smart Phone, the Telecommunicator begins coordinating police, fire, or emergency medical service responders. They coordinate service responses using high-tech location accuracy software and mapping programs, internet, and social media while coordinating with medical centers, poison control, emergency management, CDC, and utility providers to secure citizen and responder safety. They have been known as a “Jack of all trades,” using the internet to translate foreign languages, giving lifesaving medical instructions, delivering babies, hostage negotiating and helping hysterical and suicidal callers.
Telecommunicators are a special type of professional. They have stellar communications, technical, and customer service skills. They answer, listen and track several open telephone, radio, computer, GIS applications and radio communication devices at the same time. Many times they never know the outcome of a plea for help, due to the high volume of emergency calls for service. Even so, they are masters at dealing with high stress, long hours and shift work and operate with passion and integrity.
Telecommunicators are the first first responders in an emergency. They are the calm voice ready to answer your call for help.
City of Edina, MN: Job of a Telecommunicator
Video courtesy of the City of Edina, MN.