Skip to content

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 8-14

National Public Safety Telecommunicators week is dedicated to honoring those unsung heroes at the other end of the line.

Since 1991, the second week of April has been celebrated as National Telecommunicators week. Telecommunicators, also know as dispatchers, make the first contact for those in need of emergency services. Dispatchers are the first of the first responders who must find out the location, nature, and extent of the emergency.

Madison County Communications operates 24/7 and 365 days of year. It employs eight dispatchers and one director. The employees include Asst. Director Donna Sutton, Laura Marler, Kyle Rogers, Kyle McDowell, Nikki Buckley, Jennifer Reilson, Martha Cook, Lana Stephens, and Director/Sheriff Katy McCutcheon. These dispatchers are CPR, EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch), and MULES (Missouri Uniform Law Enforcement System) certified.

The job of a Madison County Dispatcher differs from other dispatch agencies due to the multiple tasks and agencies they are responsible for. At any given time a Madison County Dispatcher is responsible for answering three 911 phone lines, 10 non-emergency phone lines, and monitoring ten radio channels. Madison County Dispatch takes calls and dispatches for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Fredericktown Police Department, Cherokee Pass Volunteer Fire Department, Marquand Volunteer Fire Department, and the Madison County Ambulance District. They notify Air Medical Services i.e. Air Evac or Arch, Tow Companies, Conservation, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol when needed. They are also responsible for answering the numerous calls on the after hours emergency utilities line when the power is out in the city of Fredericktown and notifying the on-call utility worker. Other duties include running vehicles, persons, guns, and articles i.e. electronic equipment and chainsaws through the state and federal law enforcement systems to verify if the vehicles, guns, and articles are stolen or the persons are wanted.

In addition to monitoring phone calls and radio traffic, dispatchers are also responsible for clerical duties. These include logging all service calls in to the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), entering/validating arrest warrants, protection orders, stolen vehicles/articles, and missing persons into the statewide system known as MULES, maintaining the MULES records, taking bond money, and filing the required bond paperwork.

Other miscellaneous responsibilities include making contact with the people who come into the night lobby of the jail, assisting the jailer during inmate visitation, and monitoring the jail during the night after the daytime jailer goes home.

Madison County Dispatchers are multi-taskers to say the least. They are the ones who put their emotions aside to answer the phone to comfort the young scared child because their mom is sick, or comfort the grieving elderly female who found that her husband had passed, or calm the panic stricken parent whose child suddenly collapsed and now is being instructed on how to do CPR, or to reassure the officer that help is on the way. They also put aside politics and disregard controversies with one goal in mind and that is to make sure everyone makes it home safely.

Madison County Communications employs eight dispatchers and one director. The employees include (left to right) Laura Marler, Jennifer Reilson, Kyle Rogers, Martha Cook, Nikki Buckley, and Kyle McDowell. Not pictured are Asst. Director Donna Sutton, Lana Stephens, and Director/Sheriff Katy McCutcheon. 

Madison County Communications employs eight dispatchers and one director. The employees include (left to right) Laura Marler, Jennifer Reilson, Kyle Rogers, Martha Cook, Nikki Buckley, and Kyle McDowell. Not pictured are Asst. Director Donna Sutton, Lana Stephens, and Director/Sheriff Katy McCutcheon. 

Leave a Comment