April 3, 2012

The Riley County Police Department will celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunications Week April 9 – 13, 2012 to recognize the dispatchers who work behind the scenes to answer calls for help every day. The Department employs many highly trained and dedicated Emergency Medical 911 dispatchers and the citizens and visitors of Riley County are the beneficiaries of their outstanding service.

Riley County 911 dispatchers are on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They work all holidays and often miss special occasions with their families. This they do to help protect lives and property by receiving vital information and dispatching law enforcement officers, medical professionals, and fire personnel to provide direct assistance to the public. 

RCPD dispatchers have saved lives, reduced the potential for injuries, and eased suffering through their efforts. The men and women of the Riley County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) are rarely seen. They are the voices who answer 911 calls and non-emergency phone lines. They are there to answer your call for help in the morning, the afternoon, the evening, and in the middle of the night. They are in effect, first responders to each and every emergency situation in our community. They determine what kind of aid is needed and send assistance as appropriate. They may 

instruct you on how to perform CPR, render first-aid, or even deliver a baby. They ask questions about the situation and attempt to determine risk factors that responding emergency personnel might face when they arrive on the scene. They answer questions and provide information to locate businesses, people, and roads. In a sense, they are a lifeline not just 
for the citizens in need, but the police officers, firefighters, and medical professionals who handle the calls.

The critical role played by Emergency Medical 911 dispatchers across the nation, and within Riley County is often underestimated and mostly underappreciated. The work these dedicated men and women perform and the skills they demonstrate clearly enhance the safety of everyone in our community. They remain faceless and nameless to many who depend upon their expertise. It is appropriate they are publically recognized for what they do and how they do it. The Riley County PSAP and communication center is housed within the Riley County Police Department which currently employs 23 dispatchers, 15 fully trained and 8 in training. These dispatchers directly serve more than 100 sworn personnel, 200 full-time and volunteer firefighters, 40 Emergency Medical Personnel, and all citizens of Manhattan and Riley County.

(See attached file for additional)