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KSP Dispatchers 'Pay It Forward' During Appreciation Week
Kentucky Ag Connection - 04/15/2020

April 12-18 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time set aside to recognize the more than 200,000 individuals throughout the U.S. who play critical roles in the delivery of public safety services. Often called the "heroes behind the headsets," these men and women provide a lifeline to both citizens in need and officers in the field. They serve as an unseen, but vital link in keeping law enforcement officers and the public safe at all times day or night.

Kentucky State Police employs 180 telecommunicators at 16 posts throughout the state. In 2019, they answered 2.1 million calls resulting in 500,236 requests for assistance. In the past, businesses have donated food and services to show their appreciation to dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, but this year, dispatchers are paying it forward.

In Mayfield, Kentucky, KSP Post 1 telecommunicators are donating their own time and money to serve people who are on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are writing thank you notes and buying food to deliver lunch to local healthcare workers and a partnering dispatch center. Post Telecommunications Supervisor, Heather Farmer said this is the first time they've done this and her staff is excited to participate.

"I just thought it would be a good gesture on our behalf to actually give back to those folks, those frontline people that are sacrificing everyday," said Farmer. "Everyday they're showing up knowing that they could be that next victim, that next case, and they still show up. It's just a way of paying them back for their sacrifice."

The Mayfield Post will order and deliver the food during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The staff will also celebrate the week with their own dress up days including "wear green day" to show support for COVID-19 victims.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer was not surprised when he heard about the 'Pay it Forward' project.

"Our telecommunicators are often the lifeline between citizens in need of assistance and the first responders who will provide that help. They are special people and it's no surprise that they have decided to support those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic."

During National Telecommunicator's Appreciation Week, KSP plans to highlight the great work of all dispatchers across the state by highlighting stories of their great work and sharing photos and videos about their efforts on the KSP Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms. To view episode 1 of the short, weeklong video series about KSP telecommunicators, click youtu.be/1b0BO9555Xw

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