Public Safety Telecommunications Week originated in California in 1981 and was nationally recognized by an act of the United States Congress in 1991. In Indiana, Public Safety Telecommunications Week has been recognized state wide since 1999, most commonly by a proclamation from Indiana’s Governor.
Public Safety Telecommunications Week reminds all Hoosiers that the first step in receiving help is the initial call to 911 and hearing the voice of a local city, county, or state public safety dispatcher. These are the men and women that collect the initial information to pass along to law enforcement officers in the field. Often times they are able to give immediate lifesaving directions to the caller during medical emergencies or can be the calming voice to reassure the victim of a violent crime that help is on the way. And the service of a telecommunications operator extends well beyond taking calls from citizens as they are the life line to the police officer, deputy sheriff or state trooper out on patrol.
In short, the telecommunications operator is the two-way life line link taking calls for service. Whether the call comes by phone from the public, or over a radio from a law enforcement professional, telecommunication operators are one of the most important and under-recognized components of public safety.