Acting Captain Rob Huss
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax
*** For Immediate Release***
April 2, 2012
Contact: Ms. Carrie Gordon
Phone: (360) 280-0403
Did You Get Help When You Needed It? Thank a Dispatcher
April 12, 2012 • Capitol Building, Olympia • 3rd Floor Mezzanine
Olympia, WA -- The week of April 8-14, 2012 is National Telecommunicator Week, intended to honor the first link in the chain of emergency police, fire and medical responses. On Thursday April 12, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Washington State Patrol Communications Division will have a display of equipment used by dispatchers in the State Patrol, and public education material for calling 9-1-1.
If you’ve ever been the victim of a crime, been in a collision, reported a fire, or needed emergency medical help, you’ve called 9-1-1 and been helped by a telecommunicator. At the Washington State Patrol they are known officially as Communications Officers. Other agencies use the more formal term of Telecommunicator, or similar titles. The common term is “dispatcher” -- the person who answers the phone or radio and sends help where it’s needed.
“Dispatchers are usually the first people to know when something really bad has happened,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “We count on them to get our emergency response off on the right foot, and they invariably come through with flying colors.”
Batiste knows the job. As a young State Patrol Cadet, he was assigned to WSP’s Communications Division. He says not only are dispatchers a lifeline for the public, but for emergency responders as well.
After the recent murder of State Trooper Tony Radulescu, State Patrol Communications Officers were the first ones to send help. They quickly realized Trooper Radulescu was not answering his radio and sent other officers to check his welfare. The troopers on the road, and emergency responders in general, recognize the radio as their “lifeline” during a crisis.
Please come out to the Capital Building in Olympia at the 3rd floor Mezzanine on April 12th between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and meet State Patrol Communications Officers and learn what they do every day to make the citizens of Washington State safe on our highways.
Telecommunicators Week began in California in 1981 and quickly grew to national recognition. Just ten years later, Congress designated the second full week of each April as a time to remember the critical role that dispatchers play in keeping us all safe.
9-1-1 DISPATCHERS, America’s First Responders.