The TCOMM 911 communications center answers 911 calls and provides dispatch services for Thurston County. Public Safety Telecommunicators are the first link between citizens and emergency police, fire and medical services, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. They are highly trained in various dispatch functions to provide consistent help in every situation, and continuously monitor the safety of emergency responders.
Public Safety Telecommunicators spend approximately half of their time answering 911 calls from citizens and visitors in Thurston County. As call receivers, they are responsible for taking pertinent information from the caller in a fast and efficient manner, while simultaneously entering that information into the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. Once entered into CAD, the data is automatically sent to the appropriate dispatcher who works directly with emergency personnel in the field. Telecommunicators handle a multitude of calls while call receiving, including emergency and non-emergency requests for assistance. There are a variety of resources at TCOMM 911’s disposal to ensure the right response is sent each and every time.
Call Volume Data
When not assigned to call receiving duties, Telecommunicators may be assigned as a dispatcher to either law enforcement or fire/EMS. While each brings its own set of unique and distinct skills and criteria, the dispatcher function requires extreme multitasking and the ability to, not only listen to radio transmissions from several field officers simultaneously, but to keep a constant watch on their field status as well. Dispatcher functions for law enforcement include officer status checks, querying various state and federal databases for criminal activity, and assisting officers behind the scenes while on pursuits, traffic stops and other law enforcement activities. When dispatching for fire/EMS, Telecommunicators are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate fire/EMS agency is notified to respond to an emergency event, and provides assistance and coordination when a multi-agency response is required.
Communications Center Supervision
The Public Safety Telecommunications Supervisors have overall responsibility for the communications center work as well as handling a variety of administrative tasks on a daily basis. As first line supervisors, they set expectations for the communications center while providing guidance and leadership to staff. They monitor quality assurance, look for trends that may require additional training, and identify areas of concern with job performance.