RHINELANDER, WI (WSAU-WXPR) -- Workers who provide essential service year-round are being honored this week in Oneida county and elsewhere.
This week in April is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week where personnel in public safety are honored. Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof tells WXPR Radio when help or information is needed via 9-1-1 calls, the telecommunicators are the first to respond.
"Our telecommunicators are very, very important. We have a really good group right now. I think they do a nice job. This week is there to recognize their work and what they do for the community."
Kortenhof says many times people are upset or stressed and the telecommunicator must make the call to respond. "Our telecommunicators have to take that an interpret what(the caller) is asking for, then decide what unit or resource they need to respond to the emergency."
Last year, telecommunicators in Oneida County answered 46,500 calls. Nearly a third of those calls were emergency 9-1-1 calls.
Telecommunicators in Oneida County provide countywide dispatch services for one full-time fire department, 17 volunteer fire departments, seven ambulance services, 10 first responder groups, one city police department, one county law enforcement agency and three town police agencies.