Local Dispatchers Honored During National Telecommunicators Week
Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatcher Rebecca Orosco
By edhat staff
Local law enforcement agencies are thanking emergency dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
This annual celebration is a time to thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public. Dispatchers provide a vital link to law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, Custody Deputies, Probation Officers, and more.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office thanked their team at the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center stating, "they are a 'Life Line' not only to the community members who are calling for help, but also to the first responders who rely on them for accurate and detailed information."
The Santa Barbara Police Department praised those who put "service above self" with their dedication to work. Whether it's assisting with the birth of a child over the phone, talking a caller through performing CPR on a family member, calming a victim of a violent crime, reassuring a child that there are no monsters under their bed, texting with a teenager that might be witnessing a crime at their school, or just having a conversation with an elderly caller who may be confused and not have anyone else to contact, SBPD released a public acknowledgment for the sacrifices made to make our community safer.
Santa Barbara's Mayor Cathy Murillo gave a formal proclamation on behalf of the community expressing gratitude and support.
The Montecito Fire Protection District also thanked their dispatchers in the Montecito Fire Communications Division (South Coast Dispatch), which is staffed with three full time Public Safety Dispatchers who are responsible for the receipt, documentation and disposition of telephonic and radio calls for routine and emergency “9-1-1” situations for both the Montecito and Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Districts.
According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff, in 2018, Santa Barbara County dispatched 141,003 Law Enforcement calls for service, 16,995 Fire Incidents and 44,421 AMR Medical Incidents for an average of 555 calls each day. Dispatchers answered 311,214 telephone calls in 2018 for an average of 853 per day. Additionally, five Santa Barbara County Dispatchers received life-saving awards from the Emergency Medical Services Agency for CPR saves and five for assisting with delivering a baby. These recognized dispatchers had direct involvement in the chain of survival for cardiac arrest patients and childbirth.
Dispatchers undergo a rigorous testing and background process followed by months of intense training and then a period of on-the-job training before they work independently.