CANTON — Chief Charles Doody wishes to recognize the public safety dispatchers of the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) 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 the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (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.
The Canton Fire Department is served by the team at the HRECC, which also currently serves seven other departments across Norfolk and Plymouth counties, including Abington Fire, Holbrook Police and Fire, Rockland Police and Fire, Sharon Fire and Whitman Fire. This also includes the Fire District 4 Control Point and Department of Fire Services Hazardous Materials Response. HRECC currently has 27 telecommunicators on staff, 16 full-time and 11 part-time.
HRECC has been dispatching for the Canton Fire Department since July 2017 and handles approximately 4,000 calls per year for the department. According to HRECC, the center’s dispatchers answered 21,393 calls for the eight departments in 2020. The average call answer time for HRECC is 3.6 seconds and 99.7% of calls are answered within 10 seconds, far exceeding National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for Emergency Services Communications. The team also handles Text-to-911 “calls.”
While their work is done outside of the view of the public, they are an essential resource for first responders and the public alike and serve as the first point of contact for members of the public seeking help in an emergency. HRECC dispatchers are certified emergency medical dispatchers and provide pre-hospital medical instruction over the phone while the fire department responds. They are able to coordinate emergency resources on a regional level and facilitate a timely and efficient response.
“Transitioning to the use of HRECC services in 2017 allowed us to remove a professionally trained firefighter/EMT from the dispatch console and put them on an emergency vehicle to respond to emergencies,” Chief Doody said. “Utilizing regional dispatch is efficient and effective and we are grateful for HRECC’s partnership and the work of the dispatchers. They are lifesaving and valuable resources to our community members going through an emergency and are critical to our efforts as first responders.”
HRECC’s Telecommunicators complete a combination of state mandated/classroom training as well as on-the-job training and the trainee must successfully complete the department’s Center Training Officer (CTO) program by demonstrating their ability to perform all functions of the job. Telecommunicators complete 32 hours of annual continuing education each year in addition to maintaining required certifications.
For more information on the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center, click here.
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.