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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week Recognizes Michigan's Emergency Telecommunicators

The State 911 Committee (SNC) is recognizing Michigan telecommunicators and their vital contributions to public safety during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 9-15. In Michigan, the SNC is privileged to honor those who serve in this important role in our state.

“It is amazing that another year has come and gone, and another year of incredible service has been provided by our 911 telecommunications professionals,” stated Ms. Joni Harvey, State 911 Administrator. “As new technology, staffing challenges, and a higher demand and need for top quality services evolve, our 911 telecommunicators are always there to meet these challenges head-on while providing the best service available. As each year passes, it becomes clearer the vital role our 911 telecommunicators serve in emergency services. Recognizing and celebrating their endless hard work is not done often enough.”

In Michigan, 911 centers serve as the primary point for dispatching police, fire, and EMS responses. In addition to answering and dispatching emergency calls, telecommunicators also provide pre-arrival instructions for police, fire, and medical calls, activate weather alerts, coordinate additional incident scene response such as medical examiners, child protective services, hospitals, road commission, utility and public works department notifications, callouts for specialized response teams such as search and rescue, SWAT, negotiating teams, and hazmat response teams.

Telecommunicators receive calls through many different 911 dialing systems including wireless, land-line telephones, Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VoIP), smart devices, and text messages.

The Chair of the SNC, Mr. Jeff Troyer, stated, “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is dedicated to the men and women who serve as the critical lifeline to public safety emergency services. Many of them are over-worked and receive very little recognition as the first, public safety first-responder. Please join me in thanking and commending all public safety telecommunicators throughout the State of Michigan who make sure residents and visitors get the help they need when they need it most.”

The SNC was established in accordance with Public Act 79 of 1999. It is a 21-member organization that works to promote the successful development, implementation, and operation of 911 systems across Michigan.

Quick Facts about 911:

On February 16, 1968, Alabama Speaker of the House, Mr. Rankin Fite, made the first 911 call from the Haleyville City Hall.

Today there are 135 primary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Michigan.

According to the SNC’s 2022 Annual Report to the Michigan Legislature, of the counties and service districts that reported, telecommunicators in Michigan answered: 6,604,490 calls to 911; 9,488 texts-to-911; and 7,789,476 calls from non-emergency 911 lines.

There are approximately 2,200 telecommunicators in Michigan.

Certified 911 telecommunicators in Michigan must complete at least 80 hours of basic and advanced dispatch training within their first 24 months of employment, maintain continuing education requirements by participating in approved courses, and accumulate at least 24 continuing education hours every 24 months.

Michigan currently has 81 counties converted to an IP-based service, which allows for more advanced Next-Generation 911 call handling. One county and one Wayne County Service District are working through the process.

As of February 2023, 82 Michigan counties and three Wayne County Service Districts have deployed text-to-911. A map of current text-to-911 deployments can be found here.