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911 dispatchers in our area are getting recognition

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WAUSAU, Wis, (WAOW) -- Before first responders get to a scene there's generally a call to 911.

Picking up that call, 911 dispatchers, helping you when you need them the most.

At the Oneida County Sheriff's Office and across the nation, 911 dispatchers are being recognized this week.

"We don't often get to see what goes on but we get to hear it. We're the first link, every time someone calls we're the first one to hear it and we never know what we're going to get when the phone rings. It's always something new, something different, something exciting, so to have a special week dedicated to us is really neat, said Jack Lilek, a 911 Telecommunicator for the Oneida County Sheriff's Office

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was created back in 1981.

In 2021 dispatchers in Oneida County have answered over 10,000 calls, with one-third of them being emergencies.

Officials are looking to make sure their efforts go noticed as being far more impactful than just answering the phone.

"Talk them out of certain things, talk them into certain things maybe it's to help mitigate some injuries by applying pressure on a would or starting CPR instructions immediately that way hopefully saving lives down the road," said Jacob Simkins, Communications Lieutenant, Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

Almost 40,000 calls were made in Oneida County in 2020.

This is one of the jobs that is needed 24-7, 365 days a year.

These dispatch workers aren't always in the spotlight so departments across the country are taking this week to say thank you.

Bobby Falat

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