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A look inside Penobscot County dispatch operations during national recognition week

It’s National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.(WABI)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - You may think when you hear a siren, it’s the beginning of an emergency situation.

Dispatchers can tell you the response started well before that.

Penobscot Regional Communications Center Supervisor, Betty Stone, said, “It’s always familiar but never the same.”

It’s been that way ever since Betty Stone started her career at Penobscot Regional Communications Center.

“I know when I come in, I’m going to answer the phone, but I never know what’s going to be on the other end of the line,” Stone added.

Helping people through the unknown of an emergency situation is what drives her and her team here every day.

“I think that it takes patience and dedication, and, just kindness. And being prepared for what’s on the other end,” Stone explained.

That call can come at any time.

Penobscot Regional Communications Center Director Chris Lavoie “24 hour days, seven days a week, 365 days a year job.”

PRCC Director Chris Lavoie says the emergency response starts with a phone call which his team is always ready to answer.

“I feel like I am the luckiest director in the nation. I have a great staff, a great team, they work together, they work hard, and they do great,” Lavoie added.

That’s why he says it’s so important to take time and give each one of them the recognition they deserve this week: National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

“To recognize the very special men and women that we have working for not only our agency but across the nation. They do a thankless job every single day. And they’re a critical piece in the public safety community,” Lavoie said.

Next time you hear a siren, you may stop and think about the people making the connections for that police officer, firefighter, or EMT.

“Rarely do they ever get the recognition that they deserve.”

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