Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Public Safety Telecommunicators. It was first conceived in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (CA) Sheriff's Office, and grew into a congressional House Resolution made to create "National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week" in 1991. This year, National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week has been designated from April 8 through April 14.
As part of the national initiative, on a yearly basis, the Colorado Springs Police/Fire Department Communications Center recognizes the outstanding work performed by Emergency Response Technicians (ERTs) and Public Safety Dispatchers (PSDs) each and every day. Yesterday afternoon, this event was held as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
This year’s recipients are Dana Heckman - ERT of the Year, with 13 years of service, Heather Marr - PSD of the Year, with 16 years of service, Deb Zimmerman - Kathy Fiorillo Leadership Award, with almost 25 years of service, and Jerry “Mac” McCoy - Walter E. Mercer Morale Award, with three years of service. The annual recognition of Communications Center employees is a reward for the consistent demonstration of high quality performance in all areas of the core competencies. Awardees consistently maintain exemplary work performance and a positive attitude that enhances the Communications Center’s ability to meet the department’s goals and missions. The award candidates are identified through nominations made by employees of the CSPD and/or the CSFD.
The greater Colorado Springs area is served by the CSPD/CSFD Communications Center, and has an authorized staff of 110 total employees. There are 52 ERTs, 44 PSDs, 10 Supervisors, one Manager, one CAD Administrator, one Training Coordinator, and one Audio Specialist. All of the employees in the Communications Center are civilians and staff this operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In 2017, the Communications Center processed 859,841 total telephone calls, including 247,707 calls made to 911. The center is an Accredited Center of Excellence with the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch and Certified 911 Call Center Partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Members of the Colorado Springs Police Department/Fire Department Communications Center, including the recipients of the Telecommunicator Awards, may be available for interviews and follow-up feature stories about the commendable work they perform every day. Please feel free to contact Ms. Renee Henshaw, Communications Center Manager, at (719) 444-7456.