National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Telecommunicators, the calming voice at the other end of the phone

April 10, 2017, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia…Today marks the start of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week; a week dedicated to recognizing the vital work of telecommunicators across Canada. Telecommunicators, often referred to as 911 operators, are the behind-the-scenes link between Nova Scotian’s in emergency situations and first responders. 

Nova Scotia RCMP telecommunicators dispatch calls for the majority of the province and answer on average 667 calls every day, and of those calls, over two thirds are requests for ambulance, police and fire service. Telecommunicatorsassess each call by asking a series of questions ensuring they dispatch the appropriate emergency response. In 2016, RCMP dispatchers answered a total of 243,713 from the public.

"When you call for help during an emergency situation, hearing a calm, professional voice can be very comforting,” said Bill Long, Officer in Charge of the Nova Scotia RCMP Operational Communications Centre. “This week provides a great opportunity to acknowledge our emergency dispatchers for the valuable service they provide each and every day.”

Aside from emergency calls, telecommunicators also receive close to 100 non-emergency, nuisance and abandoned calls daily which translates into time that could be spent handling real emergencies.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure telecommunicators are able to do their jobs effectively:

·         Do not program 911 into any phone

·         In the case of an emergency call 911 first

·         Teach your children about emergencies and explain the proper use of 911

·         A phone without a SIM card or a deactivated phone can still call 911

·         If you call 911 by mistake, stay on the line and let the operator know

·         Ensure your civic address is posted, especially in rural and cottage locations

Tune in to our Facebook (Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia) and Twitter (@RCMPNS) accounts as we will be sharing more information throughout the week.

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