• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is April 14-20

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 14-20, is a time to remember the vital role telecommunicators play in receiving and dispatching first responders to deal with emergencies.

The county's 911 Communications Center answers all 911 calls in Forsyth County that are outside the City of Winston-Salem. The center has 24 telecommunicators that receive about 115,000 911 calls per year and dispatch around 95,000 calls for service.

"911 telecommunicators play a vital role in our communities," said 911 System Manager David Lawson. “Their dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to helping others in times of crisis is truly inspiring. Their compassion, professionalism, and quick thinking make a profound difference in saving lives and ensuring the safety of our communities. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their selfless service and unwavering dedication to making a positive impact every day. To the Forsyth County Emergency Services Telecommunicator Family: Thank you for your service and sacrifices made daily.”

The center also answers 105,000 non-emergency calls a year from alarm monitoring companies for fire and medical alarms, other public safety agencies and from the general public for information.

If firefighters or paramedics are needed for a call, 911 telecommunicators will dispatch Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or local fire departments to those incidents. Callers that need a law enforcement response are transferred to the Sheriff's Communications Center.

The Sheriff's Communications Center currently has 21 telecommunicators receiving an average of 153,000 calls annually, including emergency and non-emergency calls. They also are responsible for handling entries into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computerized index of criminal justice information for wanted/missing persons, stolen property, domestic violence orders, etc.

"Dispatching is about more than answering the phone - it’s about sending assistance to those in crisis, helping people survive their worst days, being the lifeline for our colleagues and our community,” said Sheriff's Office Communications Manager Ashley Conrad. “At the end of the day we know we made a positive impact - and that makes it all worthwhile. All telecommunicators need to support and uplift one another as we navigate the unique challenges of our profession. To our FCSO Telecommunicators: Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment. You are appreciated more than words can express.”

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