UPDATE: What If No One Was There To Answer Your Emergency Call?

Northwest Iowa — In addition to National Telecommunicators Week, the month of April is also set aside as Iowa 911 Education Month.

O’Brien County EMA Coordinator Jerad Johnson tells us exactly what 911 Education Month is all about.

Johnson had high praise for O’Brien County’s dispatchers, as well as those throughout the area.

He says 911 dispatchers have a difficult job.

Johnson says 911 Education Month is a good time for parents to talk to their children about 911, and its proper use.

Johnson calls 911 operators the “First, First Responders”, and invites you to view the video below.


Original story posted 2:03pm April 12, 2018

Northwest Iowa — This week marks the annual National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Held every year during the second week of April, it’s a time to recognize telecommunications personnel in the public safety community for their service and commitment to the profession.

Major Jamie Van Voorst of the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office tells us their dispatchers deserve a lot of credit and recognition.

He tells us what their dispatchers do.

He says they don’t just handle law enforcement traffic. They dispatch emergency personnel too.

Van Voorst says that one of the new things they offer at the communication center is texting to 9-1-1. He says if your safety would be compromised by calling 9-1-1 using your voice, text to 9-1-1 is an option. Or, if you are deaf or have a speech impediment, texting to 9-1-1 is great for that as well. But Van Voorst says that for a couple of reasons, in most situations, calling 9-1-1 is better if that’s an option for you.

He says the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office employs seven full‐time and six part‐time Telecommunicators. In 2017, Sioux County Communications Center Telecommunicators handled 15,846 calls for service; a portion of those calls consisted of:

455 motor vehicle accidents
132 domestic disturbance calls
37 disturbance calls
19 assault calls and 85 civil disputes
212 suspicious person or vehicle calls
162 anonymous crime tips received
267 ambulance calls
114 fire-related calls

Over 2,500 law enforcement traffic stops in Sioux County; some of which led to arrests for alcohol or drug-impaired driving, illegal drug possession, outstanding arrest warrants and other crimes.

Van Voorst and others at the Sheriff’s Office invite you to take time during this week to “recognize these great people who work around the clock to help others.”

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