This week marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week which is a special time to recognize all the unsung heroes in the law enforcement community who are the first to hear a 9-1-1 call or respond to a call and do it for love of the job and the community but don't always get the appreciation or recognition they deserve.

Police, Fire and EMS squads across the Jersey Shore and the country are celebrating their colleagues who do a great deal for their community.

"The Silverton Fire Company would like to take a moment to express our appreciation to all of our dispatchers. They staff the Communications Room around the clock and must remain calm during stressful situations and be able to handle multiple calls for service at the same time compassionately and professionally," The Silverton Volunteer Fire Company said in a statement.

Here is a statement from Manchester Township Police who kicked off their celebration with a cake:

"The Manchester Township Police Department would like to take a moment to express our appreciation for all those who answer calls for assistance, 24 hours a day; seven days a week. They staff the Communications Room around the clock and must remain calm during stressful situations and be able to handle multiple calls for service at the same time compassionately and professionally.

They work nights, weekends, holidays super storms, blizzards and other major events all while others are home with the friends and families. As a token of our appreciation, the Manchester Township PBA Local 246 provided morning refreshments, lunch and a cake for the Communications Staff.

Our residents can be assured that when they contact the Manchester Police Department for help, whether directly or through 911, their call will be answered by a professional, experienced, highly trained and certified Public Safety professional.

Public Safety Telecommunications is truly one of the most stressful and often thankless professions within the public safety sphere," said Communications Supervisor Dom del Pino. "Providing quality service with a quick response to our residents is our primary goal, all while ensuring officer safety. I can whole-heartedly say that we have some of the best Public Safety Telecommunicators around. They have their fingers on the pulse of the Township 24 hours a day. I take great pride in knowing that our PST's are at the helm of every emergency event."

"We have been blessed with wonderful volunteers over the years," Mayor Ken Palmer said in a statement. "Their incredible dedication to the township is certainly appreciated and we hope will continue. Going forward, the township EMS Division will provide opportunities for volunteers who wish to help. As Mayor, my statutory duty to the township is to recommend plans that will improve the welfare of our residents. As such, I wholeheartedly recommend this plan."

The Toms River Police Department are also recognizing their telecommunicators.

“Our Police dispatchers are the foundation of our department. Without them, our structure will surely collapse. They are tasked with the responsibility of keeping both our citizens as well as our officers safe, never able to take a break. They are an essential part of our operation and seldom receive the recognition they deserve. They truly are Unsung Heroes," Sergeant Steve Austin (Community Affairs Sergeant in charge of Dispatch) said.

"Dispatchers answer all phone calls, both emergency and non emergency. Using an integrated computer aided dispatching system they dispatch Police, Fire and EMS personnel to calls for service.  In addition, dispatchers use state and national systems for comprehensive checks ranging from warrants to criminal backgrounds. They also manage entries into the national crime system for lost, stolen, wanted and missing items and persons.  In the last year, with only 16 full-time and 9 part-time dispatchers, Toms River Police Department handled approximately 198,000 phone calls.  That’s an average of 16,500 calls a month.  Within those calls, the dispatcher is also on the radio speaking with the responding officers.  There were over 786,000 radio transmissions in the last 12 months between our dispatchers and our officers. At any given time our dispatchers are responsible for 40-50 patrol units in addition to undercover officers, narcotics teams, and park security units.  Imagine the level of sophistication and skill to maintain your composure and direct the beginning of every emergency call! “To say we are grateful for all our dispatchers do for the Police Department and the community would be a vast understatement.  They are literally our first line of defense in a crisis and we could not operate without them, they are a crucial element of our team and we appreciate them more than they know," Chief Mitch Little said.

When each call is over, dispatchers have to jump right into the next without hesitation.  There is no time to decompress or process what just transpired… the phone is once again ringing.  The stresses of being a dispatcher make the job not for everyone, there is a very slim retention rate due to the difficulties of the position.  It is a fast paced job where you must be able to multi-task and function in high-pressure situations.  Although we don’t say it enough, we truly appreciate and respect each and every one of them and know that without our dispatchers, we could not operate to the capacity we do!  So to our Toms River Police Dispatchers and telecommunicators around the globe, we thank you!"

Toms River Police Department Dispatchers. (Toms River Police Department)
Toms River Police Department Dispatchers. (Toms River Police Department)

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