This week, localities from across the nation are recognizing E-911 emergency dispatchers as part of a nationwide effort known as National Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week.

Wythe County emergency officials say the initiative, which can be traced back to the early 1980s, allows the county an opportunity to highlight the critical role dispatchers play in emergency services.

“A call to 911 is a call for help – no one ever wakes up in the morning expecting to call 911 that day – and our staff answers dozens of these calls each day,” said James Copeland, who serves as the director of Emergency Communications for Wythe County.

Copeland added, “This week gives the public an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for the wonderful job they do.”

The Wythe County emergency communications official is not alone in his praise for E-911 dispatchers, this past week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined governors from around the nation in formally recognizing public safety telecommunicators.

Addressing E-911 dispatchers, the governor stated, “Although Public Safety Telecommunicator Week is only for seven days, the praise and acknowledgement you will receive during this period is for the outstanding service you provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

In addition to receiving a certificate of recognition from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, thanking dispatchers for their hard work, county dispatchers have also been treated to complimentary lunches and doughnuts from businesses based in our region.

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