Telecommunicators honored this week locally, nationally


his week the City of Amarillo is taking time to thank those men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to citizens.

It's National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (NPSTW), a time to recognize their hard work.

They're the ones who are first one the phone in an emergency taking vital information to send help. They also help to keep the caller calm. But it's not just the caller, they keep emergency responders safe and in-the-know.

"Our dispatchers are always behind the scenes supporting the police, fire and emergency medical personnel," says LouAnn Humphrey, the Amarillo Emergency Communication Center shift supervisor leading the week's activities. "The valuable service of our emergency responders should be commended all throughout the year. Their commitment and hard work protect countless numbers of lives and property."

Mayor Paul Harpole issued a proclamation recognizing NPSTW on April 15.

There will be an awards ceremony on April 16 to honor the Public Educator of the Year, Telecommunicator of the Year and Supervisor of the Year.

According to recent data from the City, "The (Amarillo Emergency Communication Center) AECC began operations on Oct. 27, 2009, when the City of Amarillo and Northwest Texas Hospital consolidated all dispatch functions for police, fire, animal control and emergency medical services and merged into one unified communication center. AECC is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the City of Amarillo, which means that all 9-1-1 calls originating inside the city are answered at the AECC. In fact, 545,415 calls were answered by the AECC in 2013 alone."