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911 dispatchers warn against giving children old cellphones to play with

Appreciation week for telecommunicators
LaKisha works inside the Hamilton County 911 Communications Center during Telecommunicator Appreciation Week
Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 15:18:48-04

NOBLESVILLE — This week is dedicated to the 911 dispatchers who put in hard work every day in central Indiana and across the country.

Public Safety Telecommunications Week is April 11-17.

In Hamilton County, 911 dispatchers are being treated to meals and snacks throughout the week, as well as other surprises.

WRTV asked two supervisors what the public can do to make their job easier.

“Remember an unused cellphone with a battery that you give your kids to play with can still call 911,” said LaKisha Goins, a Hamilton County dispatcher and supervisor. “When you give your child a phone that's no longer working or you no longer utilize, when they hit buttons it automatically calls into dispatch. We have to convince them to take the phone to mommy and daddy and that can be difficult."

Hamilton County Communications Supervisor Kristi Wright said callers can help by answering their questions.

"A lot of people get annoyed because we ask things they think don't ... matter to their situation,” said Wright. “If people would realize, every question we ask is important. And have a little patience with us on that. "

Wright said it’s great to feel appreciated this week.

“A lot of times we aren’t recognized,” said Wright. “We are behind the scenes and people just think we are part of the sheriff’s department."

Telecommunicators answer an estimated 240 million calls to 911 each year nationwide.