The St. Croix County Board of Supervisors has recognized National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and is honoring St. Croix County emergency telecommunicators by releasing an official proclamation recognizing April 14-20, 2019, as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This celebratory week, sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and celebrated annually, honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the world's citizens.
Recent events, including the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Award Recognition Ceremony on
March 12, 2019, have highlighted the work of county telecommunications professionals. One example is their work on a 911 call where a subject randomly assaulted an individual first with his car, then physically in person. Emergency telecommunicator staff maintained phone contact with the victim while other staff coordinated a law enforcement response before the suspect was taken into custody after a struggle.
Emergency telecommunicators are the beginning point of each emergency within St. Croix County. These individuals are the link between those needing help and those responding to help. Emergency telecommunicators have played integral roles in providing life-saving instructions while coordinating response of emergency responders for numerous incidents in St. Croix County over the last year, including while providing instructions for CPR and AED-Automatic External Defibrillators-which assist to revive individuals. Emergency telecommunicators speak to individuals that are having mental health emergencies and may be needed de-escalate situations so the individual can get help from the necessary professionals.
Emergency Communications Manager Terry Andersen said the staff of the St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center are "a great team of individuals who work together every day to process emergency calls during intense situations. While some of these calls are readily handled by the individual telecommunicators, others require a team effort with the members completing tasks for each other to ensure a complete response."
Emergency telecommunicators handle calls ranging from the proverbial cat in a tree (actual call), medical emergencies, fires and violent domestic situations and everything else imaginable. Incoming calls can range from low stress to extreme "life and death," and the varied emotions that come with the callers, necessitating that the staff of trained professionals keep an even keel and rapidly respond.
County emergency telecommunicators include Steve, Tom, Kevin, Brian, Lecy Anne, Sherry, Linda, Chris, Shelley, Raquel, Kori, Ray, Kim, Ty, Scott, Joe, Rob, Kelly, and Tyler.
Andersen added that he is "proud of the staff here at the St Croix County Emergency Communications Center, as they do a great job often times under very stressful situations."
During the calendar year 2018, the St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center processed 95,100 incidents (actual incidents that were handled by an agency), 30,942 phone calls received via 9-1-1, and 102,650 non-emergency phone calls. The Emergency Center also received 1,390 abandoned cellular 9-1-1 calls.