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Pa. commissioners honor 911 dispatchers

April 17, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County's 911 dispatchers were honored Tuesday with a special proclamation by the Board of Commissioners.

"While the rest of us are opening our Christmas presents or eating Thanksgiving dinner, someone is anticipating any call that we may need to make," Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said.

"And when that phone rings, the folks who work in our communications center have the training and mental toughness to handle any emergency reported to them," Elliott said.

The commissioners issued the proclamation in honor of Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which runs through Saturday.

The 911 center answered 94,750 calls for service last year, of which 38,958 were emergency calls, Elliott said.

Nearly 30 percent of the calls come from cellular phones, said Jerry Flasher, director of Emergency Services.

Telecommunicators accept both emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and then determine and direct the appropriate police, fire or medical services to respond.

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"The ability to pick up the phone and push the 9-1-1 buttons to summon help is one many of us take for granted," Elliott said.

The 911 center, located in the basement of the Franklin County Courthouse in Chambersburg, is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year.

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