The Vital Role Peterborough 9-1-1 Dispatchers Play (& What You Should Know)

This week (April 10th to 16th) marks National Communicators Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the work of 9-1-1 dispatchers and educating and reminding residents about the appropriate use of 9-1-1.

“There are no minor players on our team—every member of our Service makes a significant contribution,” says Peterborough Police Service Chief Murray Rodd. "Our 9-1-1 communicators and dispatchers play an essential role in serving as the community’s gateway to emergency response 24/7/365 and also serving as our officer’s lifeline when they are on the road.”

Below is an overview of the 9-1-1 team in Peterborough...

How It Works: The 9-1-1 Communications Team In Peterborough

The Peterborough Police Service’s 9-1-1 Communications Centre is comprised of a 9-1-1/Communications Manager, four Communications Shift Supervisors and 12 communicators aligned to coincide with the four platoon system. The Centre receives all 9-1-1 Emergency Calls for the City of Peterborough, the Ward of Lakefield and the Township of Cavan Monaghan. In 2015, the 9-1-1 Communications Centre received 47,706 9-1-1 calls, a 32 percent increase from the previous year.

9-1-1 Dispatchers Highly Trained

“9-1-1 dispatchers are highly trained to get people the help they need in the most effective way possible. They have mastered the art of listening and of asking the right questions. They must be both empathetic and efficient,” says Alison Kirkland, Communications Centre Manager. “Their job is one that can be extremely stressful during major incidents but it is also extremely rewarding knowing they were able to help dispatch assistance in an emergency.”

What You Need To Know When Making 9-1-1 Call

If calling 9-1-1, it is important to stay as calm as possible, do not panic and talk in a clear manner. Understand there will be questions but answering them does not slow down the emergency services being dispatched. Emergency 9-1-1 Dispatchers are trained to get you the help you need in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Listen to the Dispatchers. They need to get all the important information so that all Emergency Responders required are sent.

Do not hang up the line until instructed to by the Dispatcher. Anything can happen and Emergency Services need to know your situation at all times until they arrive.

Teach your children how to use 9-1-1. Practice with a pretend phone, and make sure they understand it’s important to call 9-1-1 only in an emergency.

Be sure to dial 9-1-1 only when the situation you are reporting requires an immediate response by Police, EMS or the Fire Department. If you are in doubt that your situation is an emergency, always err on the side of safety.


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