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A week-long campaign which celebrates the work of the unseen frontline heroes of the emergency services begins today (18 October).
North Wales Police are supporting International Control Room Week – a campaign aimed at highlighting and celebrating the varied and vital work that goes on behind the scenes in emergency service control rooms across the world.
Our Joint Communications Centre is the beating heart of the force. It is a shared facility with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and is based in St Asaph, with all call takers and dispatchers being the first point of contact for many who are in distress.
Always available, and answering the most serious calls for help, the centre operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On average they receive 84, 235 ‘999’ calls and 216, 160 ‘101’ calls every year.
From dealing with missing people, people in mental health crisis threatening suicide, reports of violent and serious assaults, fatal road traffic collisions and at times, being on the end of undeserved verbal abuse – there is no ‘normal day’ in the control room, so throughout the week social media will be used to highlight some of our staff who work from the centre.
Chief Superintendent Alex Goss of North Wales Police said: “Our dedicated teams are there 24/7 and are the first point of contact for our communities in their hour of need - many who are in need of our help, are vulnerable or maybe victims of crime.
“It’s down to the skills of the police communication operators to manage the initial call, to reassure the caller and obtain the facts and information needed to direct the correct response to the incident”.
“We are fully supportive of International Control Room week which gives us the opportunity to recognise and publicly thank our teams who do an amazing job supporting our communities.
“An emergency service control room is a unique place to work. It never stops and is constantly challenging, and it takes a special kind of person to work in it. Someone resilient and empathetic, who can think on their feet and take control of what can be very distressing and challenging situations.
“They encounter challenges every day that many people would shy away from and I’m so proud of each and every one of them. The support they offer our communities and colleagues is significant and never stops. They provide the first line of response to many people in distress, or people who call for help, they deploy our officers and specialist resources, making decisions within minutes of receiving a call for help. They are the people who make sure the police are there when communities need them.”
North Wales Police are also urging members of the public to use the services of the control Room wisely and to report non-urgent matters via the website where there is an array of information and guidance as well as forms to report crime, update a crime report, male an application for a firearms licence and much more.
This week gives us the opportunity to say a big public “Thank you.” We’ll be supporting the campaign on social media using #ControlRoomHeroes
Further information regarding the campaign is available via www.internationalcontrolroomweek.com