During their regular weekly meeting on Tuesday, the Dallas County Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation, recognizing this week, the week of April 9-15, as National Telecommunicators Week in Dallas County. This was done to show appreciation of those who handle the 911 calls in Dallas County.

The proclamation expressed the importance of their work as they are the first responders when there is an emergency and it is up to them to make sure the information relayed to police, fire fighters and paramedics is fast and accurate.

There were a few dispatchers at the meeting for the proclamation signing, but Sheriff Chad Leonard took a moment to also recognize those who were not in the room.

“They are the first line of defense… that we have in Dallas County,” Leonard said. “You make a 911 phone call, or you call our land line and you get these individuals back here, they will walk you through a medical situation… it doesn’t matter what it is, a heart attack situation, a car crash or any of those types of things, these people know it and I’m extremely proud of them, extremely proud of the job they do because when I started 25 years ago in this, we wrote a lot of stuff down and didn’t do the stuff that they have to do today.”

Terry McClannahan, Communication Director for Dallas County Dispatch, said that the new setup at the newly renovated Human Services Campus at the old County Care Facility and joining into the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communication System will change the way for the better.

He said he’s proud of the way they have handled the recent changes.

“They’ve had a lot of change in the last year and a half,” McClannahan said. “Moving to a new center, all new systems that… allow us to use technology to its fullest and help protect the citizens of Dallas County.

Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Kim Chapman, said that while they are called dispatchers, he feels that they are more like controllers.

“They control that event, that crisis from the beginning to the end,” Chapman said. “Thank you for your service.”