The unsung heroes of public safety

Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 3:53 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Carson City emergency dispatch center was filled with western themed decorations as the team kicked off National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

“This is our week to really be proud of what we do, and let the community know this is who we are and this is who’s answering that call for you,” Dispatch Manager Jenn Stoffer said.

Decorations littered the call center and dispatchers have plans to dress up in themed clothing all week to celebrate.

While this week is a fun one, the job as a dispatcher can be tough. But many say, it’s an honor to serve the community.

“You have to talk to somebody on what’s probably the worst day of their life but at the same time, you have the privilege and honor of being able to help that person and pick the phone up,” said dispatcher Jakob Weaver.

After reflecting on the past year, Stoffer says she is proud of the way dispatchers have adapted to the community’s changing needs during the pandemic.

“We’re seeing a lot more mental health calls as well as service for welfare checks for loved ones concerned for citizens who are maybe more isolated, or staying home alone to protect themselves from risks,” she said.

Stoffer said these type of calls increased during the past two years.

“There’s no script to our job, so every time that phone rings we have to be prepared for whatever that brings us and they’ve been amazing at adapting to all these changes,” she said of her team.

“As time goes on, you learn to adapt and how to handle certain situations with the different [COVID] restrictions,” Weaver added.

Governor Sisolak and the Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell thanked them by making proclamations in their honor.

The City of Reno is also celebrating dispatch personnel. You can send a thank you note by using this link.

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