Honoring America’s 9-1-1 Professionals
By: April McClain Delaney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
In recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I wanted to take a moment to salute the professionalism, dedication, and heroic acts that 9-1-1 professionals exhibit day in and day out.
There is no telling what type of call a 9-1-1 telecommunicator will face. When 10-year-old Miracle in Central County, MO, called 9-1-1 while her mother was in labor, public safety telecommunicator Scott Stranghoener gave her careful instructions to coach her mom through the successful delivery of her baby sister.
In Lake Zurich, IL, telecommunicator Patty Steffy received a call reporting that a 57-year-old man was having difficulty breathing and later became unconscious. Steffy assisted the caller with directions on performing CPR until the paramedics arrived.
These calls—and millions like them—show the importance of these highly trained and dedicated public safety telecommunicators. Though we commonly refer to police, EMS, and firefighters as “first responders,” it’s also the people answering our 9-1-1 calls who provide life-saving assistance before anyone arrives on the scene.