'Thin Gold Line' Is A Show Of Support For Dispatchers
Many Mills County businesses are being draped with a “Thin Gold Line” this week to “ honor public safety telecommunicators for their commitment, service, and sacrifice.”
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week began Sunday, April 9 and runs through Saturday, April 15.
Mills County Communications Center Director Travis Hitchcock said Telecommunicators Week and the public display of the Thin Gold Line is a way for citizens to thank E911 dispatchers for the public service they provide to their community.
“Really, it’s an incredible thing that they do but I think unfortunately sometimes it does get overlooked – the stresses that they deal with every single day,” Hitchcock said. “It’s that silent voice in the dark – the one who picks up the phone.”
Hitchcock said the dispatchers play a critical role in all emergency response situations.
“There is a lot going on underneath and more people involved with every response – every fire truck or ambulance you see with its lights on or every cop car that’s at your house, there’s a lot underneath that is taking place with these folks here in the 911 center,” he said.
Placing a gold line on your home or business may seem like a small gesture, but it’s one that’s appreciated by Mills County’s team of dispatchers.
“They call us the golden glue that holds everything together,” dispatcher Dawn Christensen said.
Mills County currently has six full-time dispatchers on its roster and two in training. Hitchcock said 10 are needed to bring the communications center to full strength. He noted that there are many times when only one dispatcher is on duty and is isn’t uncommon for that person to be handling multiple calls and coordinating communications between responding agencies at the same time.
Hitchcock said communications center employees are very thankful for the efforts of the Mills County Chamber of Commerce, Glenwood Fire and Rescue, Mills County Sheriff’s Office and other volunteers that have assisted with placing the Thin Gold Line around Glenwood’s Town Square, on Main Street in Malvern and at other businesses throughout the county. The dispatchers are also appreciative of the food some businesses have been sending their way throughout the week.