Honoring the faceless heroes of the emergency services airwaves
By Bobby Lee McCulley | April 12, 2018 6:25 am
Throughout this week, April 8-14, emergency communications centers around the country have been celebrating their public safety telecommunicators, commonly referred to as dispatchers, in a variety of ways in honor of National Telecommunicators Week.
What began in 1981, National Telecommunicators Week is celebrated the second week of April each year and offers a time to show appreciation and to say thank you for the service given by dispatchers every day. This week serves as a time to acknowledge these dedicated individuals who oftentimes aren’t recognized for the vital service they provide to communities each day as being the first contact someone has in an event of an emergency.
Dispatchers with the White County E-911 Communications Center handled over 90,000 calls for White County’s residents and visitors, in 2017. White County dispatchers work around the clock to serve the community and to always be on the other end of the line in the event of an emergency.
Not only do they perform their dispatching services, which may involve providing pre-arrival instructions to assist in the rendering of medical aid, but they also provide support as a voice on the radio or behind a computer screen to the numerous emergency responders with law enforcement, emergency medical services and rescue and fire protection services throughout the community.
White County E-911 dispatchers are devoted public servant who work quietly on the front lines of emergencies, serving as the “first of first responders.”
“We have some of the most dedicated, hard-working individuals you will ever find at White County E-911,” stated Suzie Haston, director of White County E-911. “Our hearts are to serve our community and the citizens. We handle every call as if our family member was on the other end of the line. I am so proud of what we have here and for the dedicated dispatchers that serve our community and for the caring hearts they have to serve people.”
As the community celebrates and shows their appreciation to the dedicated men and women who serve as dispatchers for the community, also remember those who have since passed away who served in this capacity. This year, White County lost a pioneer and devoted man who served countless years in White County’s emergency services – David Wayne Sherrell.
Sherrell started his lifelong career in emergency service by serving as a dispatcher for the Sparta Fire Department at the age of 12. Over the years, Sherrell continued serving the community as a dispatcher and ultimately became the director of the White County E-911 Communications Center until his retirement.
Sherrell passed away. on Feb. 3, 2018, at the age of 66.
Throughout this week and at any opportunity, remember to say thanks to those who serve the community as first responders, including the oftentimes faceless heroes who serve as dispatchers.