National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week celebrates 911 dispatchers

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- One of the most critical jobs in an emergency is that of a 911 dispatcher, shouldering much of the responsibility of making sure first responders and help are activated quickly.

"911 where is your emergency," said Brenda Ganz, Winnebago County 911 dispatcher.

It's National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, a time set aside to recognize the dispatchers that's always a phone call away.

"A simple gesture of being acknowledged I think goes a long way," Ganz said.

Ganz has been a 911 dispatcher in Winnebago County for nearly 15 years.

"It's pretty chaotic depending on the time of year. Of course with all of this going on there's been somewhat of a change. But that is one thing about this job every day is not the same," Ganz said.

Ganz says oftentimes dispatchers go unnoticed because they are behind the scenes in an emergency. So it's nice to be appreciated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

"They have balloons and we bought them treadmills so they can get some exercise while they are at their work stations because there is a lot of sitting and a lot of tense times so it releases some tension, some stress," said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

ABC Catering will be providing meals and as requested by the dispatchers the Rock Valley Culligan Water company is installing a drinking water system.

"Getting up here and saying 'hey thank you' because again it is easy to forget them. So it's a good reminder let's remember them during this week and beyond what they do for us," Caruana said.

You can thank your dispatchers on Twitter using #NationalPublicSafetyTelecommunicatorsWeek or #NPSTW.