In the most difficult moments of our lives, there’s one phone number we call when we need help. And before the police officer gets to the scene or the fire truck comes to the rescue, there are a group of individuals answering those calls and making sure we get the aid we need. These emergency telecommunicators, commonly known as 911 dispatchers, are the unsung heroes of emergency services.
With National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW) upon us (April 14-20), unConventional is shining the spotlight on the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) very own public safety communications team which handles nearly 70,000 calls annually.
Michelle Thomas, the Public Safety team’s communications manager (pictured below), has been with the GWCCA for three years and oversees 11 full-time and two part-time dispatchers.
The team answers elevator entrapment and callbox calls around the campus, and also use specialized camera systems to monitor campus activity. During large events, GWCCA dispatchers are the lead communicators during the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activations, relaying information between internal departments and local and state and federal agencies.
“Our partners are present in the EOC, SP+ Parking, GWCCA Facility management (Hotline), City of Atlanta 911 and police departments, MARTA, GBI analysts, and FBI. Our dispatch center also monitors the EOC communications to assist and share information.”