911 professionals in Pueblo County celebrated during National Telecommunicator Week

911 professionals
Pueblo County Sheriff's Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark Mears discusses the critical role communication officers play during emergency situations at the Pueblo Board of Ccounty Commissioners meeting Monday, April 10. / Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

PUEBLO, Colo. — This week, telecommunicators across the country are celebrating during National Telecommunicator Week.

Telecommunicators – commonly known as law enforcement dispatchers – are recognized for their dedication and professionalism during a celebration of ‘Heroes Wearing Headsets.’

Monday morning, over half a dozen telecommunication professionals from both Colorado State Patrol and the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office were honored by the Pueblo Board of County Commissioners.

“This is a job that isn’t easy to do, it’s not like the movies where they handle one call, or one radio channel at a time.  They are dealing with several in progress incidents at once. They know the men and women they dispatch by voice. They need to know law, medical and fire protocols in order to save lives,” said Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark A. Mears, who oversees the 911 center at the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. “They aren’t successful if they can’t quickly master several types of technology, maintain a calm and caring demeanor, and regularly direct and protect in ways most people haven’t even thought of.”

In addition to their monthly average of 2,500 911 calls and 15,000 non-emergency calls, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office 911 center spent a day last week handling 911 calls for both Custer and Fremont Counties during a 911 outage in the areas, according to officials with the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Center serves as a back-up center for several Public Safety Answering Points in southern Colorado. Aditionally, the Center staff worked hundreds of additional hours during the 2016 Beulah and Junkins Fires.

“This team is very dedicated, they adjust their schedules for each other and work extended incidents like the fires and last month’s wind storms without concern or complaint about the long hours. I know they constantly work to maintain or improve their skills and are learning new ways to enhance 911 service to Pueblo County residents,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “In times of crisis, our citizens are very lucky to have such a great group of skilled professionals on the other end of the line.”

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