Lowndes County 911 celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

Apr. 18—VALDOSTA — Lowndes County 911 is celebrating this week, April 14-20, 2024, as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week, sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and celebrated annually, honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the world's residents.

Public safety communication involves the delivery of critical information to fellow agencies to share information and coordinate effective incident response, Lowndes County said in a press release. Additionally, it includes providing timely event details to residents and community members to help ensure their safety.

"Telecommunicators are the first, first responders. We are the vital link for keeping emergency responders and citizens safe. The importance of telecommunicators and what our employees do cannot be overstated," said Lowndes County 911 Director Tonya Davis.

Lowndes County 911 takes calls from Lowndes County, including Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton and Lake Park, as well as Echols County. Currently, 41 staff members are tasked with answering every 911 call received. In 2023, Lowndes County 911 handled 107,715 emergency calls and 94,041 non-emergency calls. In addition, they handled a total of 233,038 calls for service.

Dispatchers are trained to take the information and keep the callers on the line to keep them calm and get as much information as needed.

"It takes a special person to do this job, and also a highly trained one," said Davis. "All 911 employees are state certified through POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training)."

"Our local public safety telecommunicators do a great job in Lowndes County," said Lowndes County Manager Paige Dukes. "Often unsung heroes, telecommunicators serve as the initial point of contact in emergencies, acting with speed, precision, and calm to manage critical situations, and we want to thank them," said Dukes.

The Lowndes County 911 Center provides 911 emergency call-taking and dispatching services for all emergency response agencies. It is a consolidated agency serving the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Lowndes County and Echols County and manages the state-of-the-art 800 MHz Public Safety Radio System.

For more information, visit www.lowndescounty.com.