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    National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

    By Ashley Davidson,

    29 days ago

    BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — When you call 9-1-1, the first person you speak with isn’t a police officer or a fire fighter.

    It’s an emergency dispatch operator.

    They are the ones who will be getting all of the information necessary to get you or the person you’re calling about the help they need as quickly as possible.

    Paul Seamann, Director of Operations for Jan-Care, said that seems to be the norm.

    “Sometimes communicators, both 9-1-1 and private EMS and others, are overlooked sometimes in the scheme of what we show on the news. And they’re a critical part of…of the EMS environment,” said Seamann.

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    The dispatchers at the Jan-Care facility are responsible for several counties, including some of the state’s biggest and most rural like McDowell and Wyoming.

    They are also responsible for some of the busiest as well; Raleigh and Kanawha to name a couple. It takes a high level of multitasking ability to do the things these dispatchers are required to do.

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    “They track not only when the ambulance goes out, but when it arrives on scene and when it leaves, when it gets to the hospital, when it clears, when it gets back to the area… All of that is mapped out and all of that is so critical to the functioning because we need to know where resources are,” said Seamann.

    The state as a whole see over one million emergency calls per year, according to Seamann. The Raleigh County Jan-Care facility answers over ten percent of those.

    They respond to any number of situations and are prepared to even walk callers through some medical procedures, such as CPR.

    Seamann said that being a telecommunications worker is one of the most important and impactful careers someone could have.

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    “It’s just a wonderful profession and we appreciate everybody that’s in it and would welcome anybody else that would ever look at getting into that. From the 9-1-1 centers or the private EMS or anyone else to get into the telecommunications field,” said Seamann.

    Telecommunications is a wide field that requires levelheadedness, the ability to plan ahead, and adaptability.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WVNS.

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