Last week, Barrow County Emergency Services celebrated the annual Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
Interim chief John Skinner said the celebration was an opportunity to thank the men and women who work in the county’s E-911 center.
In an effort to increase awareness of the role of 911 operators, Barrow County Emergency Services offered the following advice for when to use 911 services:
• Call 911 to report emergency situations which place people or property at risk. This can include situations such as fires, crimes in progress, medical emergencies and vehicle collisions.
• Do not call 911 for information regarding non-emergency issues such as school closings, road closings, directions, power outages, directory assistance or for information regarding tickets, court dates, bond information or inmate visitation.
The use of 911 lines for non-emergency calls may prevent an emergency request for assistance from getting through.
Barrow County Central Communications is a support service department whose mission is to ensure the safety of officers and the dispatch of emergency and non- emergency calls in a timely manner. Central communications officers dispatch for the Fire and Emergency Services Division, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, the Auburn Police Department, the Statham Police Department and the City of Winder Fire Department along with other agencies as needed.
“This week we pay tribute to the men and woman who do a very hard and stressful job in a very professional manner,” Skinner said. “They are the division of public safety that is the first part of an emergency response and remain a part of the response through the entire event and many times go unnoticed. This week we want them to know they are appreciated.”
Barrow County’s E-911 Center is currently expanding and should move to a new facility sometime in May. This new facility and equipment will enhance the services provided by communication officers. “With the increasing number of calls for service in our growing community, this new facility and equipment will allow us to give each and every citizen more personalized service,” said E-911 Manager Kathy Wallace.
The equipment and computer systems allow 911 services to handle emergency calls more efficiently.
Recently, shift supervisor Jamie Kight was commended for outstanding job performance in locating a caller using the Phase II mapping system.
“With the enhanced equipment and the experience and training of the communication officers in Barrow County, the citizens can rest easier knowing if they need to call 911 in an emergency, their call will be answered and handled by the best people the county can offer,” Skinner said. “That is why I want to thank each and every Communication Officer in the department for the great job they do and the dedication they show not only the citizens of Barrow County but the other public safety personnel as well.”