April 9, 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. Please join The Riley County Police Department in thanking these professional men and women for their dedicated and caring service.

Wayne Colson May 1983
Barb Stuart June 1990
Kim Boyda May 1996
Nikki Baker August 2001
Jessica Mayfield November 2005 
Dawn Wickizer January 2006
Devonna Cottrell April 2007 
Tyler Siefkes August 2008
Lisa Gudenkauf June 2010 
Stacie Eaves June 2010 
Chase Quick February 2011 
Rachel Best April 2011
Maggie Rath September 2011 
Sara Martin October 2011
Michelle Plank October 2011 
Patricia Noriega March 2012
Bethany Patrick March 2012 
Anna Amdur March 2012
Laura Pomeroy March 2012 
Hannah McGahey March 2012
Aaron Abbott March 2012 
Sherry Rogers March 2012
Kyle Soldani March 2012

The Riley County Police Department will conduct an Open House of the PSAP and Communication Center on Thursday April 12, 2012 from 12:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. The Public is invited to tour and learn about the Communication Center during this time. For questions, please call Communications Center Manager Diane Doehling at 785-537-2112 ext. 2730.

Some tips for calling in on an emergency:
Stay Calm. Take a deep breath and try not to get excited. It’s important that the dispatcher can understand what it is you are saying, so speak clearly and calmly.

Know the Location. Whether you are on the highway or at residence, you need to know where you are. At a residence, get the address. On the highway, pay attention to the mile markers and
roads you are near. Knowing your actual location will save a great deal of time in getting you the help you need.Let the call-taker guide the conversation. They know what information is important for theemergency responder. As they converse they are also entering the necessary information into a computer-aided records management system. It is important you are patient so they may gather
accurate information.

Keep your eyes open. You may be asked to describe victims, suspects, vehicles, and other aspects of an accident or crime scene. When calling in accidents, it is important you mention if a lane of traffic is blocked, of if there is debris in the roadway.

Do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the call-taker.