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National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Honors 911 Call Center Workers

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - All week 911 operators across the country are being honored for their efforts to help save lives.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is an annual event that gives recognition to public safety call center workers who have dedicated their lives in service to their communities.

"No one really calls us on their best days, they call us on their worst days and we have to be ready," said Coral Springs 911 Communication Center Manager Kathy Liriano.

She said every day they are charged with the task of responding quickly, calmly, and accurately to help those on the other side of the phone with their emergency.

"We consider ourselves the first, first responders because we are the first person of contact the public has to engage with as a responder for help. We are coordinating the scene, we are making sure the proper resources are responding to the calls for service, whatever it's for, if it's a drowning, a fire, or a shooting," said Liriano.

On Sunday, one of those calls was an accident. Lavone Brown, who called 911 about it, described the situation as dire.

"They hit her and the car just spun out of control and she frantically went into the back seat and had to open the door because it was a little bit jammed. She was frantically trying to make sure her kids were alright," said Brown.

Officer Bryan Wilkins responded to the scene and says the details he got from the 911 call center helped him get prepared.

"Our Coral Springs dispatchers are very, very good and the information they released from the caller to us is extremely important and they do a very proficient job at it," said Bryan.

Brown said he's glad 911 operators are being recognized this week.

"They definitely played a significant role in what went on today. I'm just glad that she answered her phone so politely and took care of everything so fast. It really makes me feel that if anything happens to me and my family and I had to call 911, they'll definitely be able to get the help we need," he said.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week runs through April 17th. Agencies across South Florida have different events planned to honor their dispatchers.

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