NEGAUNEE — This week the State 911 committee gives acknowledgment to Michigan Telecommunicator’s and their vital contributions to public safety.
In 1991 the United States Congress designated the second week in April as National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s week.
These individuals are the “first” first responders to any call that is made to them in the case of an emergency.
“We get a lot of 911 calls,” explained Kory Dykstra, Communications Supervisor, Negaunee Regional Communications Center Intelligence and Technology Bureau Intelligence Operations Division, Michigan State Police. “These people are the ‘first’ first responders , because when you have a situation at home and you need help you are going to get someone to your house. But these people are going to figure out what you need and help you get that that help.”
They serve as the primary point for dispatching emergency services and also can provide medical pre-arrival instructions.
“They are the people that you call when you are having the worst day of your life,” said Kory Dykstra. “They are the ones that answer the phone and are going to try and sort out what the problem is and get you the help that you need. They are routinely not ever seen or heard from except by the person who is having that bad day that calls 911.”
In becoming a Telecommunicator, individuals first participate in 80 hours of basic and advanced dispatch training within their first 24 months of employment.
Today there are 137 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Michigan.