Press Releases | Have You Thanked Your 9-1-1 Operator Lately?

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Phoenix (April 15, 2024) - Every day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, public safety telecommunicators answer emergency and non-emergency calls. They connect callers to emergency services and provide valuable resources to those in need.
April 15, 2024

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week honors those who dedicate their lives to serving the public

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020

Phoenix (April 15, 2024) - Every day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, public safety telecommunicators answer emergency and non-emergency calls. They connect callers to emergency services and provide valuable resources to those in need. According to NENA, an estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year. There were an estimated 3.5 million 9-1-1 calls in the Maricopa region in 2023.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is held in April each year to honor those public safety individuals who manage, operate, build and support public safety communications systems for law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and other public safety agencies. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council Executive Committee today approved a resolution in honor of the hard work and dedication of these public safety personnel and the lifesaving role they play in our lives and in our region.

“This Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 9-1-1 operators who literally answer the call to serve our constituents. These incredible public servants are the vital link between first responders and those in need, and we are grateful for their compassion, dedication, and professionalism every day,” said Phoenix Mayor and MAG Chair Kate Gallego.

The Maricopa region has more than 1,000 telecommunicators throughout the 26 Public Safety Answering Points responding to our residents’ calls for help. In the Maricopa region, residents not only can call 9-1-1, but they also can text for assistance. April 2, 2024, marked the 6-year anniversary of text to 9-1-1 being available throughout the region for those unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1. This week provides an opportunity to remind residents of what to keep in mind when calling for help.

  • 9-1-1 is for police, fire, and medical emergencies only. Non-emergency calls should be directed to non-emergency numbers.
  • Details are critical to getting you the help you need. Stay on the line with the 9-1-1 operator and answer all of their questions.
  • Provide an accurate location. If you do not know the exact address, provide the call taker with all the details you can. Look for landmarks, cross streets, signs and buildings. First responders need an accurate location to respond as quickly as possible.
  • Try to stay calm and speak clearly.
  • Don’t hang up when calling 9-1-1. If you called by mistake, let the operator know.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 for jokes or prank calls – you could be costing someone their life if the call taker is handling your call instead of theirs.
  • Remember to call if you can, text if you can’t.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week originated in 1981 through an idea of Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office. In the 1990s, the national association of public safety communications officials (APCO) convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. In 1994, National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was formally recognized and is celebrated each year during the second full week of April to coincide with National 9-1-1 Education Month.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week Resolution group photo
MAG Regional Council Executive Committee members approve a resolution thanking 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Front row: Executive Committee Members: Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn, Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke (holding resolution), Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, Mesa Mayor John Giles; Back row: Representatives of the 9-1-1 Oversight Committee and Public Safety Answering Point Managers Group: Assistant Chief Scott Walker, City of Phoenix Fire Department, Allie Edwards, City of Phoenix Police Department (center), and Stephanie Heinzelman, City of Chandler Police Department.