HOLBROOK – As part of National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, Director Steve Hooke and the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communication Center (HRECC) would like to present a series of informational messages to help teach the public about what the members of the HRECC do on a daily basis, including more about the staff who work there and their varied responsibilities.
Each day this week, the HRECC will present a different question and answer to highlight the vital role its staff members play in the communities the HRECC serves.
Question: What are the different positions that make up the HRECC?
The lifeblood of the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communication Center is its team of telecommunicators, who are responsible for a variety of technical and dispatching work related to the answering of all emergency and non-emergency telephone calls and alarms in support of the Center’s operations.
Job duties of telecommunicators include, but are not limited to:
- Receiving and recording telephone calls and requests for service or information, obtaining all necessary information from callers or walk-ins who are making complaints, reporting incidents or requesting service, and dispatching fire, rescue and emergency medical services to calls as required.
- Maintaining constant and diligent monitoring of all Center systems and immediately responding to all requests for assistance or service from field units.
- Operating the dispatch computer and maintaining an up-to-date log during the course of a shift.
- Monitoring all radio frequencies and equipment within the Center, and dispatching appropriate units for all alarms received by the department.
- Answering inquiries from and providing information to the public concerning such things as directions, special events, municipal services, etc., as well as directing the public to appropriate sources of information and appropriate personnel.
- Maintaining fire incident reporting of Computer Aided Dispatching systems, and providing assistance and guidance to the general public.
- Maintaining all certifications, licenses and professional associations in order to keep abreast of current dispatching trends and procedures.
- Maintaining all departmental logs and records related to dispatching for fire services.
Telecommunicators report to a team of four supervisors, who are responsible for Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) oversight and operational supervision duties in the Center. This includes supervising telecommunicators in the performance of call answering, dispatching and all other duties.
Supervisors also ensure compliance with the policies of Emergency Communications; ensure employees’ training is current; and oversee staff scheduling.
Supervisors are also responsible for dispatch, call-taking and other telecommunicator duties, as needed.
In total, the HRECC has 16 full-time telecommunicators, and of those, one serves as a senior supervisor with three additional supervisors. The Center also has six part-time telecommunicators.
The Center’s administrative assistant is Noreen Costa.
Lastly, the HRECC is led by Steve Hooke, who serves as Director of Communications, and Lauren Mielke, who serves as Deputy Director of Communications.
Mielke’s responsibilities include supervising shift supervisors, evaluating and improving operations through personnel observation, and working proactively with supervisors to resolve performance or personnel issues.
In addition, she oversees supervisor evaluations and equipment maintenance, assists in preparing the HRECC budget, and serves as a liaison between the HRECC and various town boards and committees services by the Center.
As Director, Hooke is ultimately responsible for the entire HRECC staff and the daily operation of the Center, developing and maintaining personal relationships with the chiefs, command staff, IT specialists and vendors of each of the towns the Center serves. He has also overseen the planning and development of the construction of a new Communications Center facility, which broke ground last September.
Anyone interested in joining the HRECC as a telecommunicator should contact Deputy Director of Communications Lauren Mielke at 781-767-6813 or [email protected]
Every year during the second week of April, dispatchers and telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
This year, National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week 2020 takes place from April 12-18.
This week-long event, which first began in 1981 by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, has grown into a nationwide celebration to recognize and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public as telecommunicators.
For more information, visit www.npstw.org.