Edtor’s Note: Paula Price made the following comments during the April 4 meeting of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners.

BY PAULA PRICE

Good evening, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Board and Ms. Mull. I would like to start with thanking you all for allowing me to speak to you this evening in reference to National 9-1-1 Awareness and Education Month as well as National Telecommunicator Week.

To say it has been a very trying year, may just be a small understatement.

Our team of dedicated Telecommunicators at ECOM have been hit hard with round two of the Pandemic as well as the normal daily tragedies our County has faced head on.

Our team has reached out to Schools, Public Outreach (when permitted) and through social media to educate the Public on 9-1-1 Services.

In 2021 Iredell County Communications handled 88,607 9-1-1 calls, 244,574 non-emergency calls and we had 3,078,367 Radio transmissions.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Board, being the “unofficial” true First Responders, we often hear the “Cries for Help.” However, in most cases, we do not get the closure we desperately need.

While most of our community is enjoying dinner with their loved ones on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, our Telecommunicators are eating dinner in the breakroom when time allows. While most of our community is enjoying fireworks and bonfires for New Years, Memorial Day, and 4th of July, our Telecommunicators are handling the noise complaints for the events that they are having.

As Telecommunicators we knew the sacrifices that we were signing up for. We knew that we would have to work during high stress times and Holidays. We have worked countless hours of overtime, sacrificed many hours of sleep, we have been spoken to and about negatively, we have been criticized and verbally attacked and I know I can speak on behalf of my co-workers by saying: We absolutely Love what we do!

Through all of the challenges we have faced in 2021, we have held our heads high and worked through the turmoil, proud to be a Telecommunicator for Iredell County Emergency Services.

So going forward for 2022 we are graciously asking you to grant us April 10th through the 16th as National Telecommunicator week and the entire month of April as National 9-1-1 Education Month.
Thank You all for your time, support and consideration.

Paula Price is a Telecommunicator II with Iredell County Emergency Communications.

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