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Local Emergency Dispatchers Recognized 

They are the folks you speak with first in times of crisis. They are emergency dispatchers. Most of the time they do their jobs behind the scenes with little recognition. But this week is National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, and some local dispatchers have received an award for a job well done.”Every day is different, every shift is different, every phone call is different.”Liz Ryan knows that well. She’s been handling emergency calls at the Penobscot Regional Communications Center for 27 years.Last October 26th was one of those days many of the folks who work here will never forget. They got a call from a woman in Newport who said she had been assaulted by her son. She was at a neighbor’s house, but her husband was still at home. She told the dispatcher that her son had shot him.Dispatchers here connected with their counterparts at the Orono Regional Communications Center to coordinate a response.”They did a fantastic job of coordinating multiple units, multiple agencies to the scene.””They worked very well together and I do believe how they handled the call made a difference.”It turns out the man who had been shot, died. The woman recovered, and a manhunt began for the son. He was arrested a few days later.The way that dispatchers at these two agencies reacted earned them an award. The Telecommunications Team of the Year for the state.”These folks aren’t in the news for all the good things they do day in and day out, and to get recognized this one time a year, it’s awesome.”Since this is National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, they hope folks take the time to recognize the hard work that all dispatchers do, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.They are highly trained, so they can do all they can to help keep you safe.”It’s stressful, it’s multi-tasking, it’s fast paced, and they make a difference everyday.””If it’s just the one call that we took that saved a life, or helped a person out of a crisis situation or helped save a building that was burning, it that happens once a day, then it’s a good day.”