The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Jennifer Fuller - GPD
For the Courier 

Recognizing 9-1-1 Emergency Day


September 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that September 11th would be known as 9-1-1 Emergency Day, in recognition of first responders and the tireless dispatch staff that ensures our citizens have access to quickly summon emergency services. It is important for all of our citizens to understand the role that the 9-1-1 system and the dispatch program has in emergency response situations. It was 1968, when 9-1-1 was designated the universal emergency telephone number in North America. The goal for the program has always been to enhance the welfare and safety of our citizens. When President Reagan signed his proclamation in 1987, state and local governments were still working to implement the 9-1-1 system on a nationwide level. Now, over 98 percent of locations in the United States and Canada have access to the 9-1-1 system.

We are all watching the events of the summer unfold. Fires, floods, hurricanes, shootings. Emergencies on a global, national, regional, and yes, even a local level. This week, we are reminded as well of another fateful September 11th that has had unequaled effects on our first responders, communities and citizens alike, just as a record setting hurricane wreaks havoc on our southeastern United States and the smoky haze we see continually reminds us of the firemen who are working so hard to put out fires in the Northwest.

Each time you hear a siren, each time you are scared or hurt, consider that there is someone waiting at the end of the phone, ready to answer at the first ring and get you help. They are there, with you, helplessly steering the ship of first responders to you. This week, our local dispatch staff is saying goodbye to an amazing woman who has been at the end of that phone for over 27 years. The work of a 9-1-1 dispatcher is often to remain a calm lighthouse during the very worst of your personal storms and it takes a remarkable soul to be that person. These folks have been there for the most terrible of times for this entire community and this week, and every week, they deserve our respect and our continued support.

So, when you are reminiscing about where you were when the towers fell, or wondering if the rain will stop falling in Florida or start falling here, please take a moment to think of the one who was at the other end of the phone when that first plane crashed, or taking the first call of someone stranded in a flooded car, or the one who dispatched the first fire truck, or who answered the phone when you needed it most, and thank a dispatcher.


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