PPD celebrates emergency dispatchers

Published 4:23 pm Monday, April 18, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer 

PELHAM – The Pelham Police Department is giving recognition to a group of individuals who may not receive the attention they deserve.

The department announced on its Facebook page that throughout the week of Sunday, April 10 through Saturday, April 16 the department would be taking part in National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

The week is set aside to recognize the hard work of the individuals who connect 911 callers with first responders.

“These unseen heroes truly are the ‘first’ first responder and serve our community so well,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

“We celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week by having lots of fun,” said Jeanie Davis, the communications and records manager for the PPD. “Supervisors provide dispatchers with food and treats each day, and we decorate the dispatch center to add even more cheer. Our profession is very serious, so we really try to have fun on a daily basis. It helps take our minds off the stress and sadness we often feel.”

The department encouraged members of the public to write words of encouragement for the dispatchers in the comments section in the Facebook post.

“Unsung heroes, one and all,” wrote one individual.

“The best group of Dispatchers around,” wrote former officer David Tkacik. “The work that you do does not go unnoticed.”

“The Pelham Police and Fire Departments have the best telecommunicators in the business,” said Pelham’s Police chief Pat Cheatwood. “These professionals answer the call 24 hours a day to make sure that your emergency is a top priority and that your questions are answered.  Our team is comprised of people who care deeply about the citizens they serve.”

Cheatwood said 911 dispatchers deal with a tremendous amount of stress on a daily basis and how they deal with that stress does not go unnoticed.

“They are highly trained to take the call, but they are also human,” he said. “This means that they have a great deal of stress during a call and sometimes cry after a call because they are not able to help keep everyone alive.  They are multitaskers, operators, customer service representatives, the voice of care and the voice of reason, during an emergency.  They are also moms, dads, daughters, sons, wives, and husbands. I would like to say thank you to all of them for the job they do and the passion they bring to the job.”