Telecommunication operators are the unsung heroes of public safety. To the public, they are faceless voices heard over the scanner. To public safety workers they dispatch for, they are a lifeline. Gov. Mike Pence has proclaimed April 13-19 as Telecommunications Week in Indiana, reports Sgt. Noel Houze, Indiana State Versailles District Police public information officer.
Telecommunications is a function that operates 24/7 and can be very stressful. One minute an operator can be communicating a routine function to an officer, and the next minute they may be coordinating a high-speed pursuit, dispatching emergency assistance to an accident scene or coordinating a situation where police officers are involved in a gun battle.
All ISP telecommunications operators must pass written and typing tests, appear before an interview board and go through a background investigation before being hired. Once hired, they must then endure at least 12 weeks of intense training and continuous in-service training throughout their careers to maintain certifications and keep up-to-date on the latest communications technology and procedures.
Those working from the Region IV ISP Dispatch Center, Versailles, are responsible for dispatching troopers and motor carrier inspectors to calls for service in the Versailles and Sellersburg districts, which covers 15 counties in southeastern Indiana.
They include Steve Comer, manager; Connie Poer, Jeanie Helton and Sarah Collins, supervisors; and Deborah Richey, Marla Hankins, Jane Sparks, Ann Cheatam, Amanda Lawson, Casey Bloos, Bobbi Branson, Heidi Jackson, Tracy Mullins and Donyelle Robinson, telecommunication operators.