SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Police and fire departments across the country are honoring the men and women who serve as call-takers and dispatchers.
It's all part of 2018's National Public Safety Telecommunicators/Telecommunications Week, which began on Monday.
Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler and other Shreveport-Caddo Parish leaders held an appreciation ceremony Wednesday morning at the Caddo 911 Center to honor our local dispatchers.
Dispatchers are the bridge between law enforcement and the public They're often referred to as the first, first responders.
"They are the unsung heroes, they are the voice behind the call, they're the ones that people may never get to meet, but they'll be the first person or people that they will encounter when they call in to 911 for help," explained Shreveport Fire Department's Chief of Communications, Kim Tolliver. "So for me, it's very important, it's important for them to be recognized, it's important for them to know that they do a job that is thoughtless sometimes, it's exhausting sometimes, it can be stressful, but for them, it's just a way of life,"
Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored. This week-long event initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public.
"They care about the citizens of Shreveport, they're people just like we are, they have families, they like to have fun, they do their job so well and they're just very caring people," Tolliver added.