Mercer County celebrates dispatchers during Telecommunicators Week
TRENTON – Whether you’re in need of medical assistance or you witness an accident, dispatchers are the bridge between emergency personnel and you. Dispatchers are the calming voice on the end of the line and the composed professional when crisis strikes and time is critical.
Mercer County recognizes April 14-20 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in appreciation of public safety communications professionals and the citizens they serve. Celebrated the second week of April each year, and sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, Mercer County honors the men and women who answer the 9-1-1 emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the citizens of Mercer County. Just how busy are Mercer County’s dispatchers? In a year they handle more than 60,000 fire and EMS incidents, and receive over 100,000 calls into the call center located at the Dempster Fire Training Academy in Lawrence Township.
“Mercer County applauds all our dispatchers for their hard work and dedication to safety and excellence,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.
Did you know that all Mercer County Emergency Services Communication Center (ESCC) dispatchers are required to have a valid Basic Life Support Provider CPR card and are trained in providing CPR pre-arrival instructions as part of their Emergency Medical Dispatch training? What this means is that in the time it takes paramedics to arrive, a dispatcher is able to assess the situation over the phone and give direction to a bystander on the opposite end of the line.
This training is essential to saving lives and the need is evident. A 2018 Cleveland Clinic survey found that although 54 percent of Americans say they know how to perform CPR, only 11 percent indicate knowing the correct pace of performing chest compressions. CPR-trained 9-1-1 operators can identify whether someone is going into cardiac arrest and can provide instructions to a bystander. Having a bystander provide CPR before emergency medical technicians arrive on the scene can boost survival rates.
Mercer County Public Safety Telecommunicator Eric Kirby.