National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week takes place from April 14 to 20. This event honors thousands of men and women throughout the United States who respond to emergency calls for assistance, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment and render life-saving, pre-arrival instructions to citizens.
“The employees of the Missouri State Highway Patrol are proud to join in recognizing the dedication of our patrol communications personnel as well as other public safety communications professionals throughout our state,” states a release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “These professionals are to be commended for their tireless efforts to support field responders and provide critical services within the state of Missouri.”
In 1937, the Missouri legislature approved plans to create the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s various troop locations and radio stations around the state. It further approved the hire of sufficient radio personnel to man these stations. Fifteen radio personnel were ready to provide communications by the time the buildings were built. Today, the patrol’s business and highway emergency phone lines and radio systems are manned 24/7 by 153 communications operators and telecommunicators spread among nine troop locations.
These professionals are the first contact for Missouri’s residents and visitors who need routine or emergency services.
“In addition, these dedicated men and women operate the patrol’s crucial radio communications network for troopers, commercial vehicle enforcement and specialist operations responding to highway emergencies. During natural disasters or other catastrophic events, these same communications personnel are part of the statewide communications network necessary for effective emergency operations,” states the release.
“Public safety communications personnel are an integral part of every law enforcement agency,” said Col. Eric Olson, superintendent of the highway patrol. “I thank them for their dedication. I also want to commend the patrol’s communications personnel. They are living examples of our core values and their professionalism and resourcefulness strengthen the patrol’s tradition of excellence.”