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Pueblo, CO: This week is a celebration of Heroes wearing Headsets. All across the county, and right here in Pueblo County, Telecommunicators, more commonly known as law enforcement dispatchers are recognized for their tireless dedication and professionalism.
This morning, the Pueblo Board of County Commissioners welcomed several professionals from both Colorado State Patrol and Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office into chambers and proclaimed this National Telecommunicator Week in Pueblo County. Over half a dozen Telecommunication professionals were on hand to participate in the honor. Emergency Services Bureau Chief, Mark A. Mears oversees the 911 center at the Sheriff’s Office and is first hand witness to the dedication required of the profession. “This is a job that isn’t easy to do, it’s not like the movies where they handle one call, or one radio channel at a time. They are dealing with several in progress incidents at once. They know the men and women they dispatch by voice. They need to know law, medical and fire protocols in order to save lives. They aren’t successful if they can’t quickly master several types of technology, maintain a calm and caring demeanor, and regularly direct and protect in ways most people haven’t even thought of,” says Chief Mears, whose center holds accreditations in medical dispatch, law enforcement dispatch, and training protocols.
In addition to their monthly average of 2,500 911 calls and 15,000 non-emergency calls, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office 911 center spent a day last week handling 911 calls for both Custer and Fremont counties during a 911 outage in those areas. That is because the Sheriff’s center is a back-up for several Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP’s) in Southern Colorado. In addition, the center staff worked hundreds of additional hours during the 2016 Beulah Hill and Junkins Fires.
Pueblo County Sheriff, Kirk M. Taylor knows the group believes in the “Service over Self” philosophy of his agency. “This team is very dedicated, they adjust their schedules for each other and work extended incidents like the fires and last month’s wind storms without concern or complaint about the long hours. I know they constantly work to maintain or improve their skills and are learning new ways to enhance 911 service to Pueblo County residents. In times of crisis, our citizens are very lucky to have such a great group of skilled professionals on the other end of the line.”