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Things to know about the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 2024

"honouring telecommunicators" April 2024, picture of a high-paced PSAP

If you didn’t know, the National Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week takes place in April across the United States and Canada. It is a special occasion when we honour the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community. We thank them for dedicating their lives to serving the public and being the first-first responders. At our company, we encourage everyone to celebrate and recognize the hard work and dedication of public safety telecommunicators.

One way of expressing one’s appreciation for 911 personnel, is to help spread awareness about National Telecommunicator Week and the important role of 911 telecommunicators. We talk a lot about how consoles must adapt to 911 dispatchers but today we are focusing on how people and organizations across North America are spreading awareness on the realities of working in 911. Here are some examples of people, organizations and institutions coming together to say thanks to and salute the unsung heroes of 911.

The “Resilient Together” initiative by CISA 

In 2024 the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) kicks off the third annual Emergency Communications Month to honour the nation’s emergency responders and communicators in the US, emphasizing the importance of emergency communications and the need to work together in building resilient critical infrastructure. CISA encourages critical infrastructure organizations enrolling in free priority telecommunications services. That enable essential personnel to communicate when networks are degraded or congested due to weather events, mass gatherings, cyber incidents, or events stemming from human error.

The 911 Telecommunicator Tree of Life 

To bring people together in celebrating public safety telecommunicators, the NG911 Institute alongside other national stakeholder organizations, maintains and updates the “Tree of Life” initiative where anybody can help nurture a digital tree where upon different stories of dispatchers and call takers reside in its leaves. Each leaf on the tree represents telecommunicators that have been honoured by someone in their community. Simply click on any leaf to read the story for the telecommunicator or communications center listed. You can help nurture the Tree of Life by recognizing a telecommunicator who is doing what they do best – answering the call to assist those in need – by completing a submission form and sharing their story.

Posting messages of gratitude on social media 

Aside from the big organizations and institutions, people from within and outside the public safety industry, are also showing their appreciation and saying thanks to the telecommunicators for their service. We invite you to post a message of appreciation and to help spread awareness of the vital role telecommunicators play in our daily life. You do not need fancy graphics or high production value videos, simply type your kind message in a dedicated Facebook group, a tweet, a reddit post, or in the comment section of a dispatcher that you follow using the appropriate hashtags (#911Professionals or #NPSTW2024 or just #NPSTW).

Are interested in becoming an emergency telecommunicator? 

In the spirit of the National Public Safety Telecommunicator week, here are some quick facts about being a public safety telecommunicator.

  • The median pay for telecommunicators in the US is $46,900 per year, making it $22.55 per hour. In Canada that’s $27 per hour on average. 

  • Telecommunicators usually have shifts that include evenings, weekends, and holidays to provide round-the-clock coverage. Most public safety telecommunicators work full time, often in 8- to 12-hour shifts. 

  • Public safety telecommunicators typically work in communication centers, often called public safety answering points (PSAPs). 

  • Public safety telecommunicators typically need a high school diploma to enter the occupation. 

  • Important qualities needed on the job: Ability to multitask, communication skills, decision-making skills, empathy, listening skills, typing skills. 

Training and permit requirements for public safety telecommunicators 

Public safety telecommunicators typically receive training on the job but the training requirements and length of said training may vary by state and locality. Keep in mind that many states and localities require public safety telecommunicators to be certified, especially since dispatchers give medical assistance over the phone. 

We recommend you take the time to explore the different associations that shape the guidelines for telecommunicators.

If you like podcasts, give a listen to The Raspy Dispatcher, or Within The Trenches. Both are podcasts that are run by public safety professionals and offer a behind the scenes look into the life of telecommunicators.

Help others learn about the career of public safety telecommunicator

Share this article on social media or send it to someone interested in starting their career as a public safety telecommunicator to help spread awareness of the impact these public safety professionals have on people's life.



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