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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week celebrates the behind-the-scenes heroes of emergency services

This week marks the annual National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time dedicated to recognizing the invaluable contributions of Emergency Communications Officers across the country. These professionals, often the first point of contact in critical situations, play a pivotal role in the safety and well-being of our community.

Emergency Communications Officers (ECO) are the unseen backbone of emergency services, providing a calm and knowledgeable presence during crises. They gather essential information, dispatch emergency services, and offer vital support to the public and first responders alike. Their work ensures that help is on the way during the most critical moments, often making the difference between life and death.

In 2023, the City of Lethbridge’s Public Safety Communications Centre (PSCC) handled and dispatched upwards of 160,000 calls as a Public Service Answering Point. The PSCC serves the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, Lethbridge Police Service, and 19 rural fire agencies in Southern Alberta. This impressive volume includes direct 911 emergency calls, coordinated transfers, and the processing and dispatching of critical communications.

“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these dedicated professionals, who behind the scenes, coordinate our emergency response efforts,” says Kevin McKeown, Deputy Chief of Communication and Strategy with Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services. “Their ability to remain composed under pressure saves lives every day and keeps our emergency services running smoothly.”

“Lethbridge’s Public Safety Communications Centre (PSCC) operates from Fire Station #1,” says Shelley Oriold, Deputy Chief of PSCC Operations, “We are a team of local professionals that are committed to coordinating the best possible emergency response whenever we receive a call. Every day, our ECOs demonstrate remarkable strength and resilience.”

Throughout National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, residents are encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work and dedication of these vital personnel. They are truly our everyday heroes, deserving of recognition and appreciation not just this week, but year-round.

To shine the spotlight on the important role of our public safety telecommunicators, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services will regularly feature on social media an ECO of the Month. This will provide an opportunity to learn more about the important people receiving your call when dialing 911 in Lethbridge.

For Public Inquiries:

Call 311 | Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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