BEDFORD – Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and Fire Chief David Grunes wish to recognize the town’s Emergency Communications Officers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
During the week of April 11-17, public safety agencies take time to reflect on the critical role telecommunications professionals play in supporting first responders. The week, sponsored by APCO International, honors the thousands of men and women across the country who respond to emergency calls, dispatch first responders and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to residents.
“Our Emergency Communications Officers are the first people a community member will come into contact with,” Chief Grunes said. “In a crisis they remain steady while keeping the caller calm, and they obtain the information we need to do our jobs. We would not be successful without them.”
“I have tremendous respect for what our Emergency Communications Officers do each day, and we are proud to celebrate their work this week and throughout the year,” Chief Bongiorno said. “They are a special group of people, and our public-safety departments and the Town of Bedford are fortunate to have them.”
While telecommunicators work outside of the view of the public, they are an essential resource for first responders and the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bedford’s telecommunicators handle about 18,000 fire and police service calls per year, and countless non-emergency calls.
Bedford’s eight full-time telecommunications professionals are specially trained to handle thousands of calls for service every year. They attended a state-run 9-1-1 academy for five weeks. All telecommunications professionals receive at least 16 hours of in-service training per year, which keeps their skills and required state certifications up to date.
About APCO International
APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association. It sponsors National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week each year.
It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide — and the public welfare – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.