Recently our blog has received much more consistent and frequent comments from folks beyond 911 recognizing the critical role that 911 professionals have in our nation’s emergency response system. There seems to be a growing recognition of how stressful this work can be. That is truly heartening since such increasing support for 911 can help re-energize and encourage 911Pros, including those who may have grown weary and battle-fatigued in the line of duty over the years. While most 911 telecommunicators do not demand or seek public recognition for the work they do, all emergency responders and those who serve in the face of crisis nearly daily, naturally need to know from those they serve that it matters.
Usually when we examine the factors leading to the low retention rates threatening many of our 911 centers, we don’t assess the extent to which low levels of recognition may contribute. While I am not blaming retention problems on this factor, the very nature of 911 work means facing many sad and tragic endings despite having done all the dispatcher could, with excellence. So when citizens take the time to write and show that they “get it” (the emotional toll 911 work can take) such an effort may provide just the boost a heavy-hearted “Very-First Responder” needs to stay on the saddle. So please know your words shared on our blog are not wasted. In behalf of the 911 Wellness Foundation, THANK YOU!
Jim Marshall, Chair 911 Wellness Foundation Board of Directors