National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week recognizes the men and women who are the first line of defense in any emergency: emergency 911 operators.
The week is generally celebrated the second week of April. This year it is April 12 through April 18.
E-911 personnel are on the front line of public safety. They field calls from people in a time of crisis, including many who are very uncooperative. This is one of the most high-pressure, stressful jobs in the world. During emergencies, they can hold the public’s safety in their hands, providing vital information to first responders and giving instructions for life-saving emergency interventions while keeping callers from panicking.
“Over this next week, emergency communication centers throughout the country may be limited in the manner in which celebrations can be held due to social distancing; however, you can still take this opportunity to applaud yourselves and each other,” said Tracey Hilburn, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials president, in a statement. “Take time to reflect on your personal achievements over the last year, be proud of the heart and passion you have for your profession, and hold your heads high knowing that you are the first, first responders. You are the gold line that holds it all together.”
Several weeks ago, Shane Garrard, Warren County E-911 Center director, made the decision not to approach area businesses to make donations for his personnel to celebrate, as they have done in previous years, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Garrard, who has more than eight years of experience, leads the Vicksburg Warren E-911 team. His assistant director, Bobby Rufus, has more than 12 years experience. Rounding out the management team is Administrative Assistant Cindi Alkhatib, who was one of Warren County’s original 911 dispatchers, with 10 years and 7 months on the job.
Additional personnel, and their length of service, are:
|David Bufkin||9 yrs 2 months|
|Mikayla Colston||1 Year|
|Paige Cook||4 yrs 10 months|
|Steven Cunningham||11 yrs 9 months|
|George Elmore||2 yrs 3 months|
|Marquise Holmes||1 year altogether|
|Benjamin Hunter Ivey||4 months|
|Jessica Janotta||10 yrs 7 months|
|Sam McKenzie||7 yrs 2 months|
|Jess Patterson||6 yrs|
|Whitney Porter||1 yrs|
|D’Andra Price||3 yrs 5 months|
|Catherine Lee Roy||4 yrs 10 months|
|Kelly Scribner||2 yrs 3 months|
|Vonnae’ Simmons||3 yrs 11 months|
|Sara Skipper||3 yrs 11 months|
|Lawanda Thomas||2 yrs 7 months|
|Linsey Tillotson||2 yrs|
|Jordan Tucker||8 months|
|Hannah Williams||4 months|
All of us at the Vicksburg Daily News salute you, and on behalf of our community, thank you for the difficult job you do.