BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s 911 operators handle more than 1.3 million calls every year. But there was no busier time for them than during the April 2015 unrest following the death of Freddie Gray.
Now, they are being honored for their service by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International.
“Our first responder team provided an active lifeline to the public and shared our solution-oriented approach with every single caller,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at Wednesday’s event.
“I’m grateful to have the support of these outstanding professionals because in dire situations every second counts.”
In just five days between April 25, 2015 and April 29, 2015, the 911 center received more than 28,000 calls, the mayor said.
“To have the grace under pressure, the composure and the humanism to deal with a human being in crisis is not a skill set most people possess, it’s unique,” police commissioner Kevin Davis said.
“You are special people. You mean so much To our professions. Police, fire and public safety. We couldn’t do this without you.”
Captain Scott Brillman, acting director of Baltimore’s 911 emergency communications, agrees.
“Baltimore city 911 operators and dispatchers are the unsung heroes of our public safety system,” he said. “They truly are our first responders… they spend their day often speaking with scared callers but never actually get to see their face. While we sleep at night, they are ready to take the next call for help.”
Baltimore’s 911 call center professionals won the APCO’s Team of the Year award.