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Wolf Administration Recognizes Vital Work of 911 Telecommunicators During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

04/14/2022

​Ebensburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) today recognized the vital work of 911 telecommunicators with a visit to the Cambria County 911 center during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 10-16.

“The professional staff who work 24/7 to help their communities are often not included in accolades and honors given to other first responders who arrive on scene at an incident to render aid,” said PEMA 911 Deputy Jeff Boyle. “But they are the backbone of emergency response and the critical nature of their work must not be overlooked.”

In Pennsylvania, there are approximately 2,500 telecommunicators working at 61 county-based emergency call centers (formally known as Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs) who process nearly 14.5 million requests for emergency assistance each year.

In Cambria County, 30 telecommunicators answered more than 220,000 calls for assistance in 2021.

"911 telecommunicators across the Commonwealth are truly the fourth leg of emergency services, working closely with their partners in law enforcement, emergency medical services and the fire service to keep all of Pennsylvania's residents safe,” said Art Martynuska, Cambria County EMA and 911 director. “Everyday 911 personnel answer the calls that save people's lives and keep them out of danger. Here in Cambria County, our staff is on duty and on point to provide quality life-saving service for our residents and visitors.”

Like many emergency response organizations, county PSAPs are struggling to meet staffing needs. After completing the basic training, a county PSAP can certify a telecommunicator as long as they meet the following additional criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Possess a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED);
  • Be free of a criminal history that would prohibit them from successfully fulfilling all duties of the position as defined by the employer; and
  • Meet any additional employer-specific qualifications to be hired as a telecommunicator (e.g., pre-employment testing).

All this week, PEMA will showcase the stories of some of Pennsylvania’s best and brightest telecommunicators on social media. Learn more about them by following #IAm911 on Facebook and Twitter, or by visiting the PEMA website.

Anyone interested in learning more can check the employment sections of county websites found in the PEMA PSAP Directory or discover opportunities with Pennsylvania State Police.

MEDIA CONTACT: L. Paul Vezzetti – lvezzetti@pa.gov

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