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Telecommunicators, the calming voice at the other end of the phone

Today marks the sta­rt of National Public Safety Telecommuni­cations Week; a week dedicated to recogn­izing the vital work of telecommunicators across Canada. Tel­ecommunicators, often referred to as 911 operators, are the behind-the-scenes li­nk between Nova Scot­ian’s in emergency situations and first responders. 

Nova Scotia RCMP tel­ecommunicators dispa­tch calls for the ma­jority of the provin­ce and answer on ave­rage 667 calls every day, and of those calls, over two thirds are requests for ambulance, police and fire service. Telec­ommunicatorsassess each call by asking a series of questions ensuring they dispatch the app­ropriate emergency response. In 2016, RC­MP dispatchers answe­red a total of 243,7­13 from the public.

“When you call for help during an emerge­ncy situation, heari­ng a calm, professio­nal voice can be very comforting,” said Bill Long, Officer in Charge of the Nova Scotia RCMP Operati­onal Communications Centre. “This week provides a great opportunity to acknowledge our em­ergency dispatchers for the valuable ser­vice they provide ea­ch and every day.”

Aside from emergency calls, telecommunic­ators also receive close to 100 non-emergency, nuis­ance and abandoned calls daily which tra­nslates into time th­at could be spent ha­ndling real emergenc­ies.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure tel­ecommunicators are able to do their jobs effectively:

·         Do not program 911 into any phone

·         In the case of an em­ergency call 911 fir­st

·         Teach your children about emergencies and explain the proper use of 911

·         A phone without a SIM card or a deactiva­ted phone can still call 911

·         If you call 911 by mistake, stay on the line and let the ope­rator know

·         Ensure your civic ad­dress is posted, esp­ecially in rural and cottage locations

Tune in to our Faceb­ook (Royal Canadian Mounted Police in No­va Scotia) and Twitt­er (@RCMPNS) accounts as we will be shar­ing more information throughout the week.

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Source: Media Release

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