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How can you celebrate Public Safety Telecommunications Week?

COURTNEY McCLURE,

The Standard


NORTH DURHAM: Last week was Public Safety Telecommunications Week. However, you can celebrate your local telecommunications personnel every day.


This year, Public Safety Telecommunications Week ran from April 9th to April 15th.

Public Safety Telecommunications personnel include jobs like: 9-1-1 call takers, police and fire dispatchers, and paramedics, as well as their technical teams.

This celebration was created in 1981 by Patricia Anderson. This annual event takes place on the second week of April every year.

According to Ronald Williscroft, from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials of Canada (APCO), the event was created to celebrate people who work behind the scenes, dedicating their lives and careers so they can serve their communities and the general public.

“It is a week to recognize their hard work and dedication,” Mr. Williscroft, a board of directors member for the APCO, briefly explained.

You can do a few things to celebrate local telecommunications and public safety staff. You could send an appreciation card to the local 9-1-1 centre, sponsor an event for your area's communications team, or write a brief thank-you article and submit it to your local newspaper.

“These First Responders make [an important contribution] to all of our lives each day,” said Mr. Williscroft. “They are truly the unsung heroes behind the scenes.”

“We encourage services to get their voice out to the public, in recognition of this, and for those of us in the industry, like APCO Canada, to shine the spotlight on our teammates, who are always there when we need them and keep our front-line officers, paramedics and firefighters safe,” said Mr. Williscroft.

Some members of the public don’t realize there is a dedicated team working behind the scenes, to ensure local communities get help when needed.

People who take 9-1-1 calls provide lifesaving instructions for their callers and help keep panicked victims calm in an emergency. These individuals also work to help evacuate people from burning buildings, and much more, before first responders arrive on the scene.

“This is our opportunity to say thank you to that team of people each year, and that's why it's so important to me,” explained Mr. Williscroft.

For more information about the APCO and Public Safety Telecommunications Week please visit npstw.org. You can also check out APCO Canada’s website, at apco.ca.

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